Monday, 13 February 2017

Mini T's Mini Meltdown (This is NOT a delicious recipe)

I went to a horror movie convention the other weekend in Birmingham.  It was brilliant, met up with friends and made some new ones, including Michael Myers himself, the actor Tony Moran.  It’s true, we’re FB pals, HE friend requested me. I taught him the word minge.  Fairly proud of that. 
Anyway, I got some photos with some Nightmare on Elm Street stars, Rod Lane from NOES 1 (Jsu Garcia) and Roland Kincaid from NOES 3 (Ken Sagoes) (paid for) and some pals took some snaps of us too.  And then I saw the photos, and I could have wept.  I look utterly horrendous in every single one.  I’m the size of a juvenile elephant, my face looks utterly ridiculous, I have about five chins and that weird top lip disappearing smile that always makes my teeth look more prominent than they are.  This is why I haven’t posted any of the pics up.  Even the ones I’ve paid for.  Even the one of me with Jsu Garcia AND Ken Sagoes (a photo op I’ll never get again) because of how I look.
Regular readers of this blog will know that I have major hang ups about my appearance, most noticeably my weight and then my actual physical appearance.  I thought I’d come to terms with the fact that I could look pretty at times, and hell, I even wore a bikini and posted it on the internet…I think that was more the prosecco though than me.  These photos from the horror con kicked off something in my brain which, coupled with a few other things, caused me to have a bit of a meltdown over the last weekend.
Anxiety had kicked me around on Friday and Saturday, culminating in me dropping out of a well overdue night out with my gal pals.  I couldn’t have coped with all the photos, the trying to make myself look presentable enough to be seen out with these women, my best friends, who are all goddesses in their own way.  In my brain, sometimes, I feel I don’t fit in with them.  And it’s something I can’t quite put my finger on.  It’s nothing they’ve ever said or done, it’s purely me and my own stupid brain.  So I ducked out of our night out because I knew I wouldn’t be able to cope with me ruining every photograph.  And I stayed in, with the cats for company.  Weirdly, as the time passed, and I knew I didn’t have to go out, my anxiety eased off a little.  Just a little though, it’s still here, kicking the crap out of me.
Writing about how I’m feeling is one of my main coping mechanisms.  It’s cathartic.  And I might overshare at times, but I’d rather do that than have all my feelings and emotions bottled up, ready to unexpectedly spill.  Folk call me brave for writing, I’m not.  I’m just sharing experiences I’ve had, that others might have had, so that maybe one other person can read it and know that other people get anxiety and depression. 
I’ve always been an advocate for speaking about my mental health; and I will continue to be.  I’m aware that others feel they can’t speak about it which is sad.  This is a conversation that we need to have, we need it to grow above just a hubbub; it needs to be a loud and angry conversation.  Mental health services are getting slashed by the government (and previous governments).  Mental health charities and other charity helplines are getting inundated with referrals, letters, emails, telephone calls from people suffering because there’s no mental health service near them, or that it’s been so slashed to the bone, they can’t get an appointment.
It’s not shameful to have a mental health issue.  We need to feel comfortable to speak about it.


Thursday, 2 February 2017

How are you?

It’s Time To Talk Day.

You might not know what that is.  It’s a campaign set up by Time To Change in 2014 for people to converse about mental health.  It falls on the first Thursday of February.

Readers of this blog (and possibly of David’s blog FoldsFive) may be aware that I have suffered on and off with my mental health for years, suffering severe depression leading to suicidal tendencies, extreme self-loathing, issues with my general appearance (and no, not that I’m just obese, general actual hatred of myself, my face etc.), feelings of low self-worth, feeling like a failure because I can’t conceive… I could go on. 

My point is this: today, I’m in a brilliant place, mentally.  I may occasionally get the odd wobble at times (but who doesn’t?), the odd dark day but I still manage to get up and out, put a brave face on it.  I’m still on medication, and to be honest, I can’t really see a point when I won’t be.  But I firmly believe that the reason I am now living, rather than just existing is because I shared my problems: I talked, I blogged, I had a CPN, I had a psychologist, I spoke with friends and family. 

It can difficult opening up, I know that; but try and take that first step, you don’t have to speak to someone you know, you could use Mind, Childline, Samaritans or Silverline.  You don’t have to go through it alone.  There will always be someone to listen.  Someone will always have time for you to talk.

Please, just talk.

I love you all.