The Mind Closet: Coming Out to Your Parents

Pretty Empty Pockets

I’ve seen a lot of news stories recently about teenagers or young adults comitting suicide. Ive noticed it seems to always be the same story: Nobody knew they were suffering to start with.

Parents are always surprised at the news, and friends tend to just think ‘he was a bit sad’ but not like sad sad,and it really hits home just how important opening up about mental health is.

I was 18 when I had to quit University and move back home. It was at the end of term one. I didn’t even make it the year.

I’m no quitter, and I’ve always been encouraged to try my best. So quitting uni is probably the most traumatic thing that has ever happened to me, and will ever happen.

I had voices in my head and sleepless nights preventing me from focusing in lectures. I’d cry at night and pull…

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The Reason I Hate Sundays 

It’s 1pm on Sunday and I’ve hit The Wall. Hitting my head hard on the cold, grey bricks of this metaphorical barrier, my motivation has reached its peak for the day, and now begins its downward spiral. Hitting the ground without a cushion to soften the blow.
They – aka my motivation levels – begin slowing down gradually; as my nail-biting increases, my mind finds other things to think about, and my work productivity steeps to a total halt.

It doesn’t really matter how little or how much I do during the week; when it gets to Sunday, I am in quite the emotional funk. It might end after hours of reading Snapchat, or, if I think a little too hard, tears.

It’s safe to say I naturally lack motivation – and it can be seen through the guitar collecting dust in my room, weekly exercise plans scattered on print outs on the floor, and the fact I’ve still not managed to create consistency with my online presence.

The fact of the matter is; I put so much effort into my job, I guess I struggle to actually care about anything else. I don’t have hobbies that calm me down after a long day at the office, and I can’t remember the last time I had a passion in something enough to see it through to the end. I just don’t care, or can’t be bothered.

And it’s probably always been the case: Good grades, excellent school reports, scholarship to uni, pay rises, respect at work and good career prospects. Even on the way to and from school/college/work, I’ll be tapping away on my phone, writing blog ideas, finishing freelance articles, working on my to do list. Yet as soon as I step in the house, grab me my messy bun bobble, a good portion of snacks and a pair of comfy pants: It’s time for an evening of wondering what I could be doing with my time and staring at walls.

And when I don’t even fancy snacks, you can see the world of wall staring becomes dulls and time moves extremely slowly. That’s the sad bit too, I don’t even fill the time with Netflix or telly, I just don’t seem to do anything at all.

And every week, I forget about my Sunday slump and wake up feeling like the day is screaming ‘potential’. I’m excited to sit and get stuck into a list of things I want doing. So my late week spiral – yet again – pisses me off, and instead of pushing through it, I just trap myself in a whir of thoughts that can only end badly.

I’ll think about friendships, and how life has so dramatically changed, I think of how ashamed I feel that I’m sat here yet again. I’ll wonder how I can improve or make this week different. I’ll think about family. I’ll think about getting fat. I’ll think about how much biting my nails is wrecking my teeth. How I’ll never feel good enough, or pretty enough, or how I’m wasting my 20’s away. I’ll begin wondering if I’m living a content life, or whether I’m actually just a constant ball of Anxiety and Depression but I just don’t realise. I’ll wonder about whether my cats still love me, or whether my nephew thinks about me when I’m not around. I’ll think about all the books I need to read, films I wanted to watch, things I wanted to write.

And then, in my little pity party, I’ll try de-funk myself. Perhaps music, or the shower will help. But it’s at these points when my hypersensitivity kicks in; where I cannot imagine anything worse than water on my skin or noise through my ears. I sit deadly silent and watch the day go by.

Sometimes I think that perhaps this is my body just trying to take in all that has occurred in the past week. And perhaps my Sunday lounge is benefiting me greatly. But on the outside I just sit quietly annoyed, hoping that Monday will arrive soon. Because that’s when I’ll get to go to work and I’ll make effort and I’ll stop fretting and thinking about everything else.

So Sundays aren’t the same for me as they might be for you: There’s no hangover, or folk sleeping at my house. There’s no rushing around to get everything sorted for the Monday commute. There’s no hard feelings about the weekend coming to an end.

There’s not really anything.

Just a continuous mid life crisis feeling that leaves at bedtime on Sunday, fizzles away at work, and sits right back in place at 6 on an evening. 
 

Self Love and Self Loathe 

I once went to a mindfulness class where we were told that objects and other people cannot make you totally happy. At the end of the day, materials and people are gone, and we are simply left with our selves. 
The idea – or so I was told on the way home with my McFlurry – was that we have to love ourselves in order to be truly happy, rather than relying on things around us. 

I’ve been known to be particularly dependent on others for my happiness, and being left alone isn’t necessarily the most productive situation to put me in. Self-loving is more self-loathing and my mind runs wild until Ive thought myself into total hatred. I suppose that’s why I’ve always been happier around other people. 

On my last week before I started work, the hatred was a bit too much, and I guess I realised it’s something I’ve always carried around with me. It’s always there and with three months of overthinking, I’ve reached the lowest point. 

I truly detest myself. And it’s not a case of hating a small part of my life, or hating how I look in a morning. It’s everything. And knowing that is actually really distressing. – It’s like this confession to yourself that you didn’t necessarily know you were going to make. 

I hate things like my lack of motivation, or my inability to keep a consistent routine. I hate that sometimes I can’t think of anything I want to do, or how I choose to do nothing when there’s so much I could be doing. 

And then it’s on to the nitty gritty parts: I hate my skin tone and how I’m incapable of having an even colour without blotches of red and purple everywhere. I hate how the lines on my face make me feel masculine and nobody else sees it. I hate how my hair lays on top of the hood on my coat, rather than falling nicely down my neck. I hate wearing anything that doesn’t show my real body size because I feel fat and frumpy and giant. 

I hate that in school all my friends were shorter than me and now I feel overly tall. I feel like my head is bigger than everyone else’s and I look like a troll when I smile or laugh. 

I hate that I missed out on partying and dancing, and I feel like I haven’t lived my youth. Instead I was the girl swapping shoes with people when their ankles hurt, or holding their hair whilst they threw up. 

I hate that I didn’t wear make up and now can’t stand the idea of looking different and people noticing. I hate that I feel like I’ve missed out on so much. I hate that it feels like it’s too late. 

I hate my teeth. I hate my feet. I hate my shoulders. I hate my hands and how they always seem to be a different colour. I hate how my hair frizzes and gets greasy super fast. I hate how I look when I sleep, or eat, or pout or pose for a photo. 

I hate that I can’t even keep up to the things I want to keep up to. Or how I can’t enjoy things properly. 

I hate how I think my life into a tiny meaningless thing to the point of quarter life crisis (though jamie thinks ‘quarter’ is hopeful) where I re-think my entire life and it’s successes. 

I hate every inch of my being. And I even hate that fact. 

And it’s weird, because people never understand another person’s hatred for themselves. I don’t think anyone could look at me and agree with my self hate, just like I can’t understand how people hate themselves. What is there to hate?! You’re amazing! 

I think my self hate is a lot more apparent at the moment, and I don’t really feel like myself at all. Three months in the same four walls has sort of made me crumble and think far too much. 

Don’t get me wrong, at times I love being alone: Sometimes that’s all I want. There’s nothing quite like a night in with crosswords and snacks to really get my party mood started. But even then I hate wasting my evenings, or get angry that I’m eating. I hate that I can’t entertain myself and think to myself is this it? 

I think the point of mindfulness is to be aware of people around you without belittling yourself. Ive figured this from my CBT. We’re supposed to practise self love so that we can remember our importance and how we matter. We’re meant to do the things we enjoy and love, and learn to not compare ourselves or focus too much on other people’s happiness. 

But I feel to practise self love you have to love a little to begin with. And that’s the difficult bit. The idea of self love makes me feel sick. And that’s probably the biggest problem. 

It’s been almost a year since I started Pretty Empty Pockets. And like other ventures it’s been another project disowned for months at a time. I thought people reading would make me feel more confident and motivate me to write. But if anything it’s made me feel worse. 

I feel cautious about how I write and what I say and when. Fashion posts make me feel stupid for taking photos of myself. And yet, I still look at the millions of instagrams and wish I was like them. 

I wish I was cool and confident enough to write and pose for fashion blogs, or Instagram the shit out of my face and perfect complexion. 

I want to feel confident and alive and proud. And my deepest want is to feel sexy. But that would take a whole upheaval of my entire life and I’ve really not got such resources. 

I want to learn French or finish my marketing qualification or pass my driving test. I want to fall in love with exercise and finally learn to play guitar. I want to do interesting things. 

I’d hoped to write a positive post about self worth and independency. But really, I’m in no state. 

Im still waiting to get out of my ‘funk’ that’s built up for months. Or to pass through my life crisis and see a better day on the other side. But for now, I’m just sat with my duvet and my crosswords. Hoping to one day complete a whole one from start to finish. Perhaps then I’ll be ready to start all the other things I’ve never finished. 

Important Things You Should Know About Depression

1. There’s physical symptoms 

Depression is of course a mental illness, but the physical symptoms can be as vivid as the phsychological ones; heart pains, stomach aches, chest pains, headaches, utter fatigue, shaking, attacks on the immune system, the list goes on. Which is why it’s important for people to realise that mental illnesses are just as difficult to deal with – if not more – than physical illnesses and should be treated equally. 

2. It’s extremely boring 

It’s not hours of scrolling the Internet, eating ice cream in bed whilst watching films, waiting for it to all pass over. 

It’s debilitating, but life goes on; trying to even cook feels like too much effort, so slowly and surely you’ll be doing literally nothing. Sitting, living, but not much else. 

3. Insomnia is alive and well 

Sleeping patterns go haywire – whether it’s sleeping for days, or not sleeping for days; it’s effected. Of course, sleep is all you need to help you calm down and distress, but it’s incredibly difficult to switch off. 

4. It effects your appetite 

Eating like a horse one minute, not eating at all another minute, there’s no proper pattern. 

It’s important to try eat every day, even if it’s just the tiniest amount. 

Because everything is linked; without food, there’s no energy, and with no energy, there’s fatigue, and with fatigue there’s low moods, and with low moods there’s no sleeping and no energy to spend on getting better. 

5. It doesn’t have to be constant

People seem to think having Depression means you can never be happy. Wrong. You may be totally fine around people and as soon as you’re home alone, it hits. It could be triggered by something you’re not aware of in the middle of a conversation. It can happen at anytime, anywhere, but there will always be times you can enjoy. 

6. Your depression is different to everyone else’s 

My biggest pet peeve when it comes to mental health is when people think everyone relates; that everyone feels the same, as if you don’t feel a particular way, you’re probably just faking. It’s different for everyone and there’s no real list of characteristics that make a person depressed. Chances of being able to relate to someone else are limited, but that’s not to say you can’t stick together. 

7. It isn’t glamorous 

I’ve no idea how we’ve got to a point where mental illness is made to look beautiful through black and white images with quotes underneath, filling everyone’s tumblr. It’s not an illness that anyone can ‘pull off’ with a bit of mysterious eye liner and some fake scars on your wrist, and it certainly isn’t something to aspire to be. 

8. It’s hard to recover from

Unfortunately, this is true. Traipsing back to memories from childhood with a counsellor, taking medication and attending help sessions is all helpful in different ways to people. For some, the reason may lie with something in the past – meaning counselling will be a great release. For others, coping strategies may sound horrific and pointless. And with medication, there’s the worry that the feelings will reappear once you’re off them. Recovery is a serious trail and error situation.

9. It never leaves you 

This doesn’t mean you’ll never recover; but relapses can occur. But each relapse is less severe – and that one major breakdown becomes a mere memory. A memory that never leaves; a memory that reminds you of how well you’re doing; a memory that you can use to feel good about yourself and help others. 

10. You’ll come out stronger, and you have to remember that 

No matter how you feel now, how hopeless counselling feels, how strong your medication is, know that you’re going to come out the other side, stronger and wiser. You just have to keep going. 

6 Tips for Fashion on a Budget

I’ll admit, I’ve not been keeping up with posting recently, and a huge part of that is due to my serious lack of clothes funds.

But, to keep spirits high in this time of need, I’ve created a list of things to do when you’re strapped for cash but need to revive your wardrobe.

1. Recreate 

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I’ve wanted this Urban Outfitters coat with the stripey interlining for forever, but as food and paying bills is somewhat more important than yet another coat to add to my collection (debatable), I’ve recreated the look with a coat and a hoodie I already had.

Same look, 100% less the price.

2. Rehome 

With apps like Depop and Vinted it’s even easier to get your hands on bargains from other people’s wardrobes.

Selling your own things, and using the money to buy new things is practically like recycling, right? Therefore it must be good.

3. Thrift 

Believe it or not, all these clothes are from local charity shops and I’m not sorry.

Weirdly enough, everything I’ve ever picked up in a charity shop has been from a shop I already love (Topshop most commonly!) so it’s definitely worth a hunt.

4. Reuse 

Dresses can be turned into tops, jeans into shorts and there’s plenty more nifty ideas to be found.

5. Shop the Unexpected

 

Feeling like #chanelnumber3 with my adorable new ear muffs. #fbloggers #screamqueens #winter

A post shared by Abs (@slightlyrainedonabi) on

I bought this jumper from Aldi and the cute ear muffs from Boyes home stores. Sure, they’re not your most often visited shops for fashion, but you’ll definitely find a few cute bits and bobs that add something a little quirky.

6. Wholesale

If you have any apps like Depop previously mentioned, you’ll notice people selling all the same items over and over again. This is because they buy batches and take on deals with wholesalers to sell the items and get commission. But, if you just visit the sites these products are from – such as Aliexpress and Romwe – you’ll find some amazing clothes at affordable prices.

So that’s that.

Happy Shopping!