Going Backwards.

18 February 2015

So back here I said I was coming off my anti-depressants. Life was all fine and dandy then, I was just settling in to my new job, I’d passed my driving test and you know I was doing better. I was more than willing to see if I could manage with the meds. But on this day (Tuesday 17th February), apologies as this post will go up later than that; I have decided I am going back on them. 

I have tried to get off them on previous occasions; however I have also had the worst brain zaps to accompany that, so I and would always go back on them. I did a bit of research this time round and decided to cut down gradually. I’m only on 10mg, which isn’t a high dosage at all. So I had been cutting down by ¾ then ½ and now ¼ and then ¼ every three days. I wasn’t really sure what the next stage after that was so that’s currently what I have been doing. 

Well until today. Today I took a sick day off work because my brain was sick. In the past two months I have dealt with dips, some of them are quite simply the dips of life, that’s not a problem. However in the past two weeks I’ve had a real turn in my thoughts, they have turned sour and they have become increasingly dark from various life happenings. In short, I am now plagued by my thoughts of self harm. I don’t think I’ve ever shared my struggle with self harm, but I kicked that coping mechanism and promised myself and several others that I wouldn’t touch my pretty little skin again. And I haven’t, or really felt the need to. However the frequency and intensity of these thoughts are alarming. Especially going alongside the thoughts of just being sick of living, I’m really worried that I’m heading down a dark road again. There are just days when I feel like I just need to ring up and get myself taken into some type of care. I don’t want that and I don’t want to want to resort to self harm to get these horrible feelings out of me. So I’m going back to what helps.

I know that recovery is a bumpy road. My doctor even told me not to be discouraged if I couldn’t come off the medication, so I know it’s not failure. I attended the Time to Change Celebration event two weekends ago (that's where the cake picture is from) where I listened to stories of recovery, and I just know that it isn’t easy or continuous. I wish it was, I wish I didn’t have to keep starting and stopping. There are times when I feel like I can take on the world, but recently I’ve dealt with changes that have just taken the fight out of me. I’m talking work, men, family and friends. There are quite a few things eating away at my self-esteem at the moment that I don’t want to be buried in it. I also don’t want to sit around moaning about it and wallowing in it. Depression is just so painful sometimes that I feel like tearing my insides apart because I do not understand how I can feel like this. And constantly too. It’s a mystery, so I’m reaching out for the first thing that I can change, and yup that’s my meds. That and I’m going to start counselling again. 

I’m not even sure what the point of this post is other than to say LOOK AT ME BACK ON MEDS AND NOT COPING WITH LIFE,WOE WOE WOE. I am dubious about posting this. But it’s here and it’s my space and I think stuff like this is important because I know from the outside it probably looks incredibly different, but it’s important to share these things. It’s why I spend my time doing work for Time to Change because I know that talking about it matters. So if I can help one person feel okay about not feeling okay then I’m gonna do that. 

Sometimes I do wonder about talking so openly about these things on my blog because duh, future employers. But then I remember I am still an awesome functioning human being, so I don’t give a fuck. Despite everything that goes on I still bloody love to work. I remember that I have resilience and that’s a bloody important thing to have. 

So that’s all for my mental state update. I hope you’re all having a much better day/week/life than me!

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The Mid Month Wishlist

15 February 2015

I was up last night (well this morning, this is what happens when you sleep valentines day away) thinking what the fark am I going to post on my blog? I don't believe in blogging for the sake of it, but I do think consistency is important. I have SO many things I want to blog about, but my head really isn't in the right place these days (job woes, boy woes, LIFE woes). Honestly I just want to go live in a cottage in the Irish countryside with a cat.

So in the wee hours of the morning, obviously it hit me that I should do a wish list post because what greater filler post is there and because who doesn't think about the ten thousand things they'd buy if they had money? Seriously I've been writing a list this whole week, obviously this has nothing to do with me getting back into the swing of watching YouTube videos... My bank account is weeping and payday is ages away so I cannot indulge myself in anything but the necessities, but I can dream about the stuff I'll spend my money on once I have it.
Feb wishlist

MAC Lip Pencil in Currant - I will probably walk into MAC and buy like 3 lip liners, I really hope I don't because I just cannot afford to but you know. Purple/Plum colours are my lipsticks of choice, but once I apply them in the morning I'm never bothered to reapply. Because I eat a lot, by 11 most of my lipstick is gone and I am too lazy to reapply. So hopefully wearing a lip liner will increase the longevity. And man what a beautiful colour Currant is! You can see it properly from the stock image, but there are loads of swatches here.

Clinique Even Better Essence Lotion - I've been reading up loads of skincare this month. I got kind of tired of trying skincare because it was hyped up. I've never heard of this product, but it's essentially a toner (even though it says lotion) and it meant to be really good for combination/oily skin. 

Lousie Young LY34 Super Foundation Brush - Even though there's nothing wrong with my RT buffing brush, I really really want to have this brush. My RT foundation brush is horrible for actually blending foundation into your face, I always use it to paint my face and then go back in with my buffing brush. Even though I don't need another tool, I want it okay. 

Maybelline Lipstick in Totally Toffee - Although I love my purples, I have lately been wondering about nudes. I've never really bothered with them previously because I find it hard to shop for one. So I hunted around for reviews on nudes/neutrals for dark skin tones and I think this might just be one that I try out.  Sometimes I don't always feel like wearing colour on my lips and with spring approaching (lol I hope), I think it will be nice to have some muted colours. 

Milani Lipstick in Sangria - Ah after watching the wonderful Liz's 'Purple Lipstick on Darkskin' I decided that I needed this in my life. Like I said before my go to lip colour is always purples and plums, and yes I do still feel that I need another one in my life. 

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation - I absolutely love my Smashbox foundation, but lately I have wanted something that it full coverage. The Smashbox foundation is actually medium to full, but I hate the thought of just layering it on. I've heard so many good things about this foundation, although I can't remember if it's suitable for oily skin or not. I definitely want to get myself to a counter and get matched to a shade.


No doubt I'll be paid and forget that I even wanted these babies, but that's all that is on my list at the moment! 

What bits are you lusting after?

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6 Tips to Help You Survive (unemployed) Graduate Life

7 February 2015

This post has been a long time coming. The idea originally came to me when I was about two months into my job, but then I forgot about it. Then my probation period was extended and then I certainly didn’t feel confident enough to write about it. But I bumped into a friend from uni about two weeks ago whilst on my lunch break, we decided to meet for lunch the following week. We ended up having a good old natter about grad life. This spurred me to get back to writing this post, and possibly another one.

So you’ve just finished your three/four years of uni and perhaps you were not like the rest who secured grad jobs whilst in their final year. So now you’ve finished uni, had that break and you’re applying for job after job with no luck. Trust me I know what it’s like because that was me when I finished university.

I graduated in July 2013. My final year was particularly gruelling because I was severely depressed, I'd just broken up with my ex boyfriend, I was having therapy and I basically had no friends. All that coupled with uni was just one form of hell. I was envious of those who had secured jobs already, but I wasn’t worried I believed that there had to be a job out there for me somewhere. I eventually started to run out of money and was on benefits for about 2 months before I landed a job at Sainsbury’s. I worked there part-time whilst looking for full time work. I worked there for 9 months before landing the job I have now. I am currently a marketing assistant, which is what I wanted so hurrah! I finished my exams in May time, so if we’re counting from there it took me a year and two months to land a full time job.

A year is bloody long time to experience unemployment and inadequacy. Like I said above I did manage to get a part time job, and whilst it was great for income and stopped me from becoming incredibly bored. It wasn't want I wanted to do, customers are super rude in retail and to others in my life it was basically like I didn't even have a job because it wasn't a "proper job." In light of all my experiences I thought I’d talk about how to survive grad life, if you find yourself in a similar situation to me. These aren't job tips but just life tips so you don't fall into despair.

  1. Take social media with a pinch of salt. I'm getting this one out of the way first - social media is a blessing and curse. But the bottom line is, not everyone lives is as glamorous and amazing as they portray it to be - we see the highlights of peoples lives and that will make you feel shit. So you need to step back and take whatever you see with a pinch of salt. Your life is perfectly okay! 

  2. Talk to the nearest and dearest. Surround yourself with people that care about you and talk to them about how you're feeling. People probably don't know just how bad you might be feeling, so when this whole process is really crushing you utilise the people you have around you. I found talking to my sister really helpful, as she was unemployed at the time and could understand where I was coming from. I also spent a lot of time at her house with my nephews because they made me feel good and they were perfectly non-judgemental. 

  3. Stay away from toxic people This basically ties the previous two together in a round about way. For me personally, I found this to be so important. Honestly stay away from people who make you feel this is your fault / don't understand / don't want to understand. I’m not saying defriend them forever, but if there are people making this time in your harder than it already is, perhaps they shouldn’t be there just for now. My best friend once said to me “no wonder you work at Sainsbury’s” because I got something mixed up and to hear this whilst you’ve worked your arse off to get your degree and are working your arse to find a job is hard. It got to me, not because it came from her, but because I thought ‘is this what everyone else is thinking?’ I set some distance between us because quite frankly it's not a nice thing to say, let alone to someone in that position and because I didn't want to let that thought consume me. Not everyone is thinking that and even if they were, you need to stop thinking about what it looks like to other people. Everyone who has been through it this, appreciates how damn hard it is and believe me, I know you’re trying. You are well within your rights to make this time stress free as possible, so cut some temporary ties if you have to. 

  4. Prepare for rejection. This goes without saying, but it still needs to be said. This job market is tough, even if you have experience is your chosen area it's still incredibly hard. You’ll see a job advert that looks like it was created just for you; you’ll apply and get rejected or just not hear anything at all. Don’t take it personally, move on and keep applying. It's hard to not get demotivated but you just have to keep throwing mud and it will stick at some point.  

  5. Assume nothing. Yes the world (if you didn't know it) is incredibly unfair. Yes people who didn’t get as good as grade as you, or even go to uni will earn more than you and be in a higher position than you (Although fear not, graduates do seem to have a higher earning potential than non grads, although my paycheck is yet to show this). So yes you’ll question if it was even worth it. Yes you’ll just hate the whole process sometimes and have repeated crying fits. But don’t assume this is how it will always be, don’t also assume that a degree is your ticket into anywhere. Basically don’t assume the worst or get too cocky, just show your experience outside your degree, show how relevant you are for the job, persevere and then trust that you’ll get that job – because you will. 

  6. Enjoy the free time. Yeah you know how you have all this time that seems almost painful sometimes? Enjoy it because once you nab that full time job, you can say good bye to all that beauty sleep! But seriously, sometimes just kick back and relax  – take the time to read, go for a walk. I was always joyous when I went to places like the bank or the post office because there was no queue! Also taking the tube when it is not rush hour was also another mini victory in my life! 
So those are my tips based on my experience! Unemployed grad life is hard and it can make you feel like a failure especially when the graduation high wears off. But you haven’t failed! I am 100% here if anyone feels like they need a chat! Don’t give up because you will land a job (maybe even your dream job) and you can join the rest of us in complaining about Mondays!

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February Book List

2 February 2015

I’m so proud of my reading achievements this month.I set myself 3 books in my January post but I managed to get through four books! I always use to alternate between playing a game on my tablet and reading on the tube (the game always won), but this month I decided to read every single day on the way to and from work. - and obviously I was able to power through more books, yay! I am in the process of reading Overcoming Low Self-Esteem but as I found out whilst reading it, it's better to read through one chapter and then go back and work on the exercises in those chapters. So I won't be able to read through that as quickly as I thought. I will say that so far I am finding this extremely helpful, and I think it describes a lot of what I feel/have been feeling my whole life.

I really enjoyed all the books I read this month particularly, But Inside I’m Screaming, it was a triggering read for me which is kind of rare. I was acutely aware of my thoughts saying “this is how you will end up,” and if you've read the story the majority is not good. Despite that I found it to be a really good read, accurate and very well written.

I struggled for books this month. As mentioned last month I have a lot of books sat in my 'save for later' bag but a lot of them focus on mental illness and considering how I felt after 'But Inside I'm Screaming' I thought it was best that I veered away from that genre.So in the end I did manage to select some books for my February reads. They will have a similar theme of clearing the 'save for later' basket and me not actually remembering why I even wanted to read them.

False Memory by Dean Koontz - I'm not sure how I heard about this book, possible through a quote I saw on Tumblr or something. I don't know much about the book if I'm honest but having read the blurb and summaries about it on the internet, I'm very very intrigued. This book is MASSIVE, so I'm starting with it.

The Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell - Another book that I don't remember adding, but after reading about it, I'm also very intrigued to read it. I thought it might be a bit of a light and interesting read. Sometimes I just feel like getting lost in a book that doesn't require too much thinking or doesn't involve me getting too emotionally involved.

Season to Taste or How to Eat Your Husband by Natalie Young - This is one book I saw being promoted over Twitter from Tinder Press / Little, Brown and I just thought it sounded funny. It actually reminded me Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl, a short story that I loved at secondary school. So hopefully it is as funny and witty!

So I've set myself three again, but only because the Dean Koontz book is so massive that it is essentially two books! I'd love to hear your book recommendations if you have any, as I really think I may struggle for books next month!

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