Rupi Kaur

I was in Waterstones the other day and I spotted Rupi Kaur’s new book was out. I didn’t even think, I just picked it up. There was no way I was leaving without it

I bought her first book, Milk and Honey, when I was heartbroken. It was one of three things that lifted me out of that intense time, the other things being the Smiths on repeat and far too many chocolate rice cakes. It’s almost as if it walked through the heartbreak with me, acted as my sidekick when I felt defeated

On days when it hurt to breathe, there were words that mirrored my pain. On days when things seemed a bit less shit, there were words for that too

Now I’m in a relationship, a content one, with someone I fall in love with more and more all the time. And it’s as if the Sun and Her Flowers is my new sidekick, giving me words to help me understand this new adventure I’m on

There’s a poem about healthy love, about how hard it is to accept sweetness and passion, when all you’re used to is pain. There’s one about wanting the kind of love that energises you, not drains you

“They should feel like home. A place that grounds your life. Where you go to take the day off.” I like that one

It’s not just about that sort of love though, it’s about all kinds of things, good and bad. Self-loathing to self-love, resentment to contentment, frustration to forgiveness

This wasn’t supposed to be a review as such but I suppose it sort of is. I like snappy, punchy writing. I like short musings and stuff that’s to the point. That’s what I like about Kaur’s work. It takes seconds to read, but it stays in your head, or at least it does mine

Thanks for reading, Hils

Advertisements

Sudden Sads 

There’s a lot to depression. For the majority of people, it’s not simply feeling a bit crappy, rather it tends to be a merge of emotions, the primary one being sadness. When it strikes out of nowhere and for no obvious reason, that’s when it’s the worst, for me at least

I call it the “sudden sads” because, well, I suddenly feel sad. It’s so abrupt and there’s very little warning. Sometimes I can feel it slowly creeping up on me, but it’s worse when it’s totally abrupt

If anything, it’s more frustrating. More often than not, I don’t particularly have anything to feel sad about. Things are fine and I know they’re fine. But then I overthink something, and then something else, and before I know what I’ve done, my whole world is a shitemare just because I’ve convinced myself it is

Right now, I’ve got the sudden sads. I’ve been absolutely kushty all day, but I’m staying at my mums’ house for the weekend while I’m working and I suddenly feel incredibly low. The room feels empty and strange, and every-time someone talks to me or messages me, I hear or read their words in the harshest possible way

I’ve convinced myself so much that even as I write this, I can’t shake that who I’m messaging at this moment in time suddenly doesn’t like me anymore, which is making me feel even more awful. They’ve done nothing to suggest anything, but my self-sabotaging brain is going to town right now

The real shitter is that I don’t know how to stop this ridiculous way of thinking. I presume it all boils down to anxiety and lack of self-worth which is clearly something that needs work, but it’s essentially a vicious cycle. I have no self-worth so I think I’m unlikeable and because I think I’m unlikeable I have no self-worth

I’m just not quite sure how to crack it

Thanks for reading, Hils

Hello, I’m Still Kicking

The past five-nearly-six months have gone by so fast and so much has changed in that time. It was the end of August when I realised I hadn’t posted on here for ages, “that odd uneven time” as Plath once described it. The time in which “the best of summer is gone and the new fall not yet born.” It was springtime when I last posted, and I talked about getting settled into the new flat. I’m virtually fully settled now, and have definitely started to consider Leicester as my home. Having said that, I haven’t explored it as much as I intended to when I first got here so that’s something I want to start doing more. I’ve started to frequent the library which I like going to when I need to get out of the flat but be in familiar surroundings, and also the nearby fountain which I sometimes sit near when the weather’s decent

I’ve visited a few places but there’s so much around me, so many museums, theatres, bars, parks and so on. Now that I have a bit more time on my hands and things are starting to fall into place, I feel like I can finally start to do more. Previously my time was taken up by work and studying, and although my work situation has yet to change and I’m still having to commute, now that I’ve finished studying I can put more energy into job searching and other things

I only went and passed my history degree, didn’t I. Got a 2.2, which apparently means I’m part of the Desmond club? I had to Google it too, don’t worry. To be honest, I’m pretty chuffed with that. I barely even expected to pass so you can imagine I was over the moon

Graduation day is at the end of October and I’m petrified. I’ll be graduating in Birmingham, and although I’ll have some of my favourite people there to support me, I’m still a bit nervous. I’m just picturing that bit from the start of the Lizzie McGuire film, when she completely wrecks the ceremony by getting tangled up in that curtain. That’s going to be me. I am looking forward to it too though. I’ve got my cap ready to go, and my gown ordered, I just need to do the all-important dress shop

I’m determined to shift a few pounds before graduation, so I’m going to join a nearby gym in the next week or so. I walked past one today and saw some people on treadmills and was so tempted to get in there and work up a sweat. I’ve definitely been more active lately, but something inside me is crying out to get back to the gym. I miss doing a severe workout and then having a post-gym shower, so I’m aiming to get back into it

Talking of getting back into things, my head feels the clearest it has done all year which is why I feel like I can start writing on here again. Ever-so slowly I feel like I’m getting my creative spark back. There are days where I’m not great and my anxiety is high, but at the moment I feel like there are more good days than bad, which isn’t something I was expecting at all

I stopped taking fluoxetine a month or so ago. I kept forgetting to take them and then I just stopped altogether. I stopped taking them before I went to Berlin in June, and the week I re-started them was absolute hell. I physically couldn’t get out of bed and I felt so depressed it basically hurt to breathe. I am tempted to get back on them again but I kind of like how I’m feeling at the moment. I’m not brilliant, but I’m manageable and I don’t want to mess with that. If I start to go properly down again, then I’ll re-re-start them and see what happens I guess. I don’t know whether it’s because of the time of year, or because there are good things and good people in my life at the moment, but either way, I’m doing okay right now

It’s September, and the nights are dark. I can feel the excitement of late autumn and early winter building, those days where you have to wrap up so tight that you may as well be walking around wearing a duvet, but it’s nice because the air smells of bonfires. It’s that sort of time where you can’t decide whether you want to go running through brown-leaf scattered fields or cuddle up in your cosiest jammies. I’m a dreamer at the best of times, but this time of year always makes me feel sentimental, and it couldn’t be better timed really. Like I said, there are good people in my life right now, one in particular but I won’t go into that right now. Essentially, things are fine and dandy

I’m aiming to keep on top of this blog now, so I’ll be back soon

Thanks for reading, Hils

Moving Out

It’s been two weeks since I moved to Leicester. It’s also been roughly a month since I started taking fluoxetine, so I think it’s safe to say that April has been a pretty hectic month

I think the fluoxetine has startled to settle down. For the first week I did notice sudden drops in mood which, though quite normal for me, kept happening out of absolutely nowhere and was quite consuming. The main changes I noticed however were lack of sex drive and intense jumpiness. Without being too graphic, I found it quite hard to climax in the first month, however I’ve noticed that that’s started coming back now. Perhaps that wasn’t really to do with the medication and rather just my own state of mind. The jumpiness though is still quite intense, a source of amusement for several of my work colleagues who think it’s completely hilarious to jump out at me from behind doors. I think that that’s probably just me though, I’ve always been quite melodramatic

That flat myself and my friend decided to go and view? Well, we decided to take a running jump and dive into adulthood head first having talked about moving out and moving away for such a long time. We viewed it and just went for it. A fortnight later, and I’m sat here in my bedroom filled with my all of my possessions. I still feel a little bit uptight, and I don’t feel completely settled yet but it’s still early. I only live under an hour away from my home-town too which is nice

I’m also now having to commute to work which is quite cool actually, or so I tell myself because actually it’s a bit of a ball-ache, but it also makes me feel like one of those swanky London types. I sometimes go via bus, sometimes via train, and sometimes when I’m working early shifts I just crash in my old bedroom at my parents. I’ve applied for a few jobs in Leicester though, so I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll hear back from some of them

The flat’s top-notch. It’s a pretty spacious flat with two double bedrooms, a kitchen-cum-lounge space, a swish bathroom, and so on. The only thing that’s a bit bothersome is the location. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a super ideal location because it’s slap-bang in the heart of the city, literally everything is on our doorstep. But we just happen to be living right next door to a music venue. It’s not that bad to be honest, during the week it’s totally unnoticeable but on nights like tonight, a Friday night in the city, the humming of guitars and crashing of drums reverberating through my bedroom wall isn’t the most ideal

Having said that though, it’s so different from where I used to live it’s bound to take some time to get used to

Thanks for reading, Hils

Fluoxetine, Day One

As I am not by any stretch a morning person, I thought I would chose 6pm as tablet time. That’s the same time I used to try to take my birth control when I was a teenager

If I had been prescribed capsule pills this time last year, I would be panicking right now. It took a dentist forcing me to take amoxicillin last summer to get me over my fear of capsules. But these capsules aren’t as big as amoxicillin which is sweet

I was a bit nervous before I swallowed it. I worry about side effects, particularly ever since being on birth control which although gave me better skin, gave me ridiculous headaches instead. The main side effects of fluoxetine however are dipped depression in the first couple of days, a lower sex drive, and apparently jumpiness, which really can’t get any worse in me anyway. I’m constantly like a rabbit in headlights

It’s now 2.00am, eight hours since I took my first dose. I had a nap from 8.00pm until 11.00pm which was silly of me, but I feel okay. I don’t feel particularly jumpy yet so that’s positive. Have to get a train tomorrow afternoon, am going to view a flat with a friend which is exciting. It’ll be the first property I’ve ever viewed. Will check back in soon

Thanks for reading, Hils

I Did It

Last night, I was panicking a lot. I kept looking at my list of bullet points for the doctor and thinking it all sounded so whiny. I was convinced he was going to think I was wasting his time. But the good people on Elefriends were very encouraging, and at 3.00pm today I sat in the waiting room of my doctors surgery

I was far from relaxed of course. My eyes kept filling with tears and I was convinced people were staring at me. But then my name got called and I made my way to the doctors room. I knocked on the door and went in, asked him how he was, and when he did the same I just burst into tears. He was very understanding though and kept making me laugh, which was positive. He compared my bullet points to the notes that the sister had written when I tried to get help the first time, and said “you’re almost the same as you were three years ago.” Hearing that it had been three years since then made me cry again. He ascertained that I was severely depressed and prescribed me fluoxetine, and also gave me a self-referral leaflet for counselling

He said he was proud of me for coming in, which set me off again. There was mascara all over my face, I looked reminiscent of a panda. But honestly, I’m quite proud of myself. It’s been a long time coming and this is a massive step. Although I’m under no illusions it’s going to be plain sailing, hopefully it’s onwards and upwards from here

Thanks for reading, Hils

Impending Appointment

I’ve spent a lot of time in bed the past few weeks. I feel completely embarrassed about admitting to that. It’s not like I haven’t got up at all, I wouldn’t if I could have dealt with it, but I’ve forced myself to get up for the evenings at least. On those days, I didn’t go out. I’d shower, put on a bit of make-up and then just sort of mope about, flitting from one side of my bedroom to the other. Part of it was mild heart-break I won’t lie, but the majority is my depression which has been rather constant since Christmas

Usually there’s a bit of a breather. I say breather, I mean usually there’s a week or two where I’m strangely up. I want to go out to neon-lit nightclubs and dance with strangers, get on trains to wherever, and run around like a child drunk on cherryade. I’ve had that a bit so far this year, but nothing like previous years. Still, I suppose it’s early. I’ve just been really down this year, steady, but down nonetheless

I had a meltdown on a night out this time last month, but I had had a lot to drink so my mental health can’t be totally to blame there. Apparently, I ran out of a club, sat on a window-sill and cried down the phone to my friend until her and her boyfriend had to get in an Uber and come to my rescue. I didn’t even know where I was, I gave them a vague indication and they had to work it out for themselves. I was looked after and pepped up by three strangers, but I barely remember that either. I just about remember scrambling through my front door at 7.30am, my face taut with dried tears, thinking the world had ended and I’d be lucky if anyone spoke to me ever again

That’s a symptom of my up-phase, putting myself into dangerous situations and not even remotely realising they’re dangerous. Back in late January, I thought it was completely fine to let a customer give me a lift home. I didn’t even know his name, I just knew he was a regular for fuel. When I next came into work, I told a colleague and he hit the roof, a reaction I was definitely not anticipating. I told another friend, thinking she’d agree with me that he’d over-reacted, but she reacted in the same way. Then it dawned on me, of course it’s ridiculous to get into a strangers car. I hadn’t even told anybody it was happening, he could’ve taken me far away and nobody would have ever known

Having said that though, once again I don’t know whether that’s because of my mental health issues, or because I just like to trust people. I can’t help thinking people are good, even though sometimes they’re not. I have this naïve notion in my head that everyone has a good heart and everyone has good intentions all the time, but that’s evidently not true

I have my GP appointment in just under a week. I remain petrified but I have not urged myself to cancel it yet, I know that I need it. This morning, I met up with a friend for breakfast. Said friend had some issues back in the day, and she was telling me what happened when she went through the system. It sort of helped, but at the same time I’m not sure what I’m even going to say yet, let alone what’s going to happen afterwards. For the rest of the week I need to try not to think about it, I need to forget about it until I get a pop-up on my phone the day before, and then I give myself permission to start panicking

Thanks for reading, Hils