Little Setbacks

I’m back at my mum and step-dad’s. The flat’s a vague memory and I’m back in my teenage bedroom. It kind of feels like a fall from grace to be honest, like I’ve failed as an adult. I spent a year living in a city with a friend, meeting interesting people, doing new things and going to new places. Now my double bed’s in storage and I’m sleeping in half a bunk bed. I know it’s just a minor setback and things could truly be worse, but I can’t help feeling a tad disheartened

The plan had been for my boyfriend and myself to move straight into a city flat after I moved out of the one I was in, but that didn’t quite go to plan. We’re still going to, we’ve just got this frustrating delay to deal with

We went to get some guidance from Citizens Advice today. It wasn’t a total loss and we were encouraged to try routes such as private landlords and Housing Associations, but by the time we left my brain had become utter mush and I got a little overwhelmed, crying in a car park like an emotional wally. It just felt like more and more hurdles to overcome and all I could think was “where am I going to muster the energy from? Because honestly I don’t have a great deal left.” At the moment each time I feel like I’m close to getting something sorted out, another setback seems to happen

I don’t want a lot. I just can’t wait for us to cuddle up on our retro orange sofa in the evenings and binge-watch Armstrong and Miller re-runs (with or without pizza, most likely with)

Hopefully we won’t be in this situation for long, a month tops if possible. We’ve got a few potential action plans up our sleeves so it’s not as though we’re sitting back and hoping things will fall into our laps. Focusing on the mental health side of it all, it’s bloody hard work. I’m sure it’s hard work for anyone anyway, but for someone who struggles getting up and dressed sometimes, I swear it’s like pushing through a brick wall

Fortunately, the image of G and me sat on that sofa (with pizza) is so strong in my mind and something I want so badly, that I’m determined to sort things out for us. I might feel like I don’t have the energy sometimes, but the reality is, I do and I’ll find it because I want us to have our own little flat more than anything

I swear though, if I could go back to being a baby for a few weeks, I would happily do so! When the only issues were teething and nappy rash

Thanks for reading, Hils

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ASMR

I am an ASMR fan and I’ve only recently discovered it

For those who don’t know what ASMR is, it stands for autonomous sensory meridian response. Essentially it’s a low-grade type of euphoria which tends to be felt in the upper body particularly the head, shoulders and spine in the form of tingly feelings

All my life I’ve experienced these sensations in my body owing to certain things, specific triggers as they’re called in the ASMR world. The most prominent for me and many others is hair play such as hair brushing and head massages. Something about the sounds of brushing hair and scalp scratching just makes me feel so calm

I think for me it stems from when my mum used to check my hair for nits during lower school. I’d sit on the living room floor in front of her while she’d section my hair and run a comb through it. Nothing made me fall asleep faster than that

I enjoy visiting the hairdressers for the sole reason of having my hair fussed over. I have a love/hate relationship with that venture because I love having my hair cut and styled, but I don’t really like the hairdresser setting. Sitting in front of a huge mirror making small talk takes the relaxing element away for me

My hair doesn’t get played with very much anymore. I’m too old for my mum to brush it and I don’t get to go to the hairdressers very often. Although sometimes my boyfriend strokes my hair to help me sleep

Discovering ASMR hair play videos on YouTube however has just opened up this whole new world to me. I look forward to getting into bed, popping my headphones in and falling asleep to the sounds of someone having their hair brushed. It sounds a little strange granted, but I feel like it’s no more different than being relaxed by soft music or raindrops on the window which is also a popular trigger

It’s sort of like a variation of meditation I find. It helps me to switch off and just focus on the sounds and visuals

Through my exploring various ASMR triggers, I’ve managed to find others that I didn’t even know affected me. Tapping on wood, fire crackling and ink pen writing are apparently triggers for me too

I would definitely encourage others to give ASMR a try, especially those of you who are trying to find a way to relax more. It may seem a little bizarre at first but if you’re open-minded you never know, it may become your go-to method of relaxation

Thanks for reading, Hils

March Rambles

2/3 I got upset earlier because the snow made it too dangerous for my boyfriend to come over. I was going to make him vegetarian hot-dogs and we were going to watch the Room starring, written and directed by Tommy Wiseau. I’m in bed now listening to seventies music and looking at pictures of flared jeans, so I’m okay

6/3 We went to view a flat today. It was grim. There was a half-eaten paella on the counter and ravaged chicken bones on the coffee table. Viewing another flat tomorrow afternoon. I think we’re both feeling it a bit, the drain. Just want to get it all sorted out. In just over a month’s time everything will hopefully be done and dusted, we can block the world out and hide away in our own little place

8/3 Today is International Women’s day. I’m surrounded by strong ass women but my mum is without a shadow of a doubt the strongest. She’s an absolute babe and I love her so much

14/3 I don’t know whether it’s the medication or just my badly-wired brain but I’m up and down like a yo-yo at the moment. Two hours ago I was excitable and honestly thought everything would be fine, now I’m super low and desperate to run away

17/3 I forgot how much I absolutely love tortoises. We went to Twycross today for a friend’s birthday and there were three enormous tortoises. It was worth wandering around the zoo in the snow for them alone, but we also got to watch penguins being fed which was just brilliant

22/3 Drag Race has just started again. I don’t know what it is about Drag Race that I love so much but it’s my go-to television show. I stick previous episodes on as background noise all the time. The format’s always similar so I know what to expect and I think I just find that quite comforting

27/3 We lost the flat we’d gone for and I’m absolutely gutted. We were so close and it was something so small that made it go the other way. It was ideal for us, even had a little garden. I could imagine us sat outside in the summertime star-gazing. I need to stop dwelling though, it’s back to square one for now and we have lots to do in a short amount of time. People keep saying “it wasn’t meant to be,” they’re obviously right

30/3 It has been a long and stressful month. April’s going to be a fresh start. I’m going back to my mum’s for a month to save up some money, which sort of feels like I’m going backwards but at the same time I know it’s necessary

Thanks for reading, Hils

Sertraline, Day Three

This is a very familiar post and I’m getting severe deja-vu

Literally almost a year ago I put up this same sort of post but with fluoxetine. Fluoxetine didn’t work out for me, I didn’t really feel a difference and I gave up on it after a few months

I was a bit scared to go back to my doctor because I was convinced he would tell me off for just stopping my medication. But it got to a point recently where I knew I just had to bite the bullet

I had my appointment on Friday morning and I’ve been put on sertraline. It seems as though fluoxetine and sertraline are pretty similar in regards to what they treat, but the success rate seems to be higher with sertraline so I’m hoping they take effect. Although, the doctor did say finding the right anti-depressant is very much a case of trial and error

I’ve also been urged to contact Let’s Talk Well-being. I was told to before but I just didn’t find the time, and if I’m honest I haven’t heard anything greatest things about it. Regardless, it’s worth a shot this time and I think I probably should try it out. I’m not sure if it will help me personally, but there’s no harm in trying

I’ve been on sertraline for three days now, and am taking it at about midday along with my contraceptive pill. I don’t feel as if I’m experiencing any overwhelming side effects really. I feel a bit tired but I always feel some level of tiredness. I may try switching my time to just before bed and see if it helps me sleep better. The only noticeable change is that everything feels a bit faster, my movements, my speaking voice and my thoughts all feel a bit rapid

But it’s manageable and hopefully it will calm down. For now though it seems to be agreeing with me but perhaps it’s too early to tell yet

Thanks for reading, Hils

Saying No and Self-care

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I’ve been thinking a lot about the person I used to be, going through photos of myself between the ages of 18-23. I used to go out every weekend and I didn’t even enjoy it most of the time, I just didn’t want to miss out on the things my friends were doing

I used to drink lots of cheap, fruity drinks and stay out until 3am. There was always a standard routine, I remember it so well. Get a taxi to a friends house, get ready listening to Smash Hits and slamming shots of apple Sourz, get another taxi into town, hit the Spoons for pitchers of Purple Rain and to ascertain who was out, have a dance in Kings which smelt like cat pee. The night always ended up in the big E, the town’s it-place (by which I mean the town’s only nightclub)

I didn’t hate going out or anything, I sort of liked being in the thick of it. There was always drama, and I’m a night-bird anyway. Plus I like a dance. But I got tired of the monotony so easily. I always felt like the weird friend. If there was a group of guys, I would get palmed off with the last man standing. If I got attention, I was ever-so grateful which isn’t how it should be but I always just accepted it because I thought so little of myself and I just wanted to fit in

There was absolutely no self-care where I was concerned. I couldn’t say no because I was worried about hurting people’s feelings, regardless of my own. And anytime I tried to care for myself, I knocked myself down and didn’t think myself to be worth it. Even the smallest things. I tried to stick to a skin-care routine but eventually I packed it in because I thought “well, who’s even looking at me anyway?”

It’s something that I’ve dealt with for such a long time that I’m finding it hard to break out of. I’ve always kind of gone through sporadic personality changes. Maybe once or twice a year it’s like I get an abrupt personality overhaul. It’s really strange. I’ll just wake up one day and suddenly I don’t like certain things anymore and everything just seems different. I’m going through that right now. I’m stressed, I can’t stop crying, but I’m starting to get angry too. I never get angry, I didn’t think I knew how to really. But I’m finally starting to retaliate when people do me wrong

I worry a little bit about that because I’ve always been the one who just sits and listens, or rather just sits and takes it. I am still, but I’m beginning to develop a back-bone. I think that’s an example of self-care. The word “no” is becoming less scary to me

If I was in the big E right now and I was being palmed off on someone, I wouldn’t stand for it. Though I still don’t think particularly highly of myself, I think enough of myself to stop playing the doormat and to say no. I might not be there fully yet, but baby steps. I’m doing a face mask at the moment. I’m going to stick to my skin-care routine this time

Thanks for reading, Hils

February Rambles

1/2 Off to Stratford-upon-Avon for a couple of days. I’m super excited to leave Leicestershire if only to go a few miles down the road. I need a change of scenery, and I love staying in hotels, no matter how basic. I’m going to use the hell out of the bath tub. I can’t wait to sleep in a super comfy bed either

3/2 Had such a wonderful time. The weather was bright and breezy, and my chest feels much less heavy. We went to a couple of nice restaurants, and a very swanky cinema where there were sofas in place of chairs. We had milkshakes in mason jars. The film we saw was Journey’s End and it’s definitely up in my top three war films

7/2 I’ve decided that after the move in April, I’m going to be the sort of person who buys myself flowers. When I have a spare morning or afternoon, I’m going to go to the market and buy strawberries. I’m going to read more books and light more candles

14/2 This hasn’t been a particularly good Valentine’s day. I’ve spent more time crying than not, and I feel silly about it. It’s just another day and it shouldn’t mean anything, it hasn’t before. It’s just it’s my first Valentine’s with someone since I was ten years old and I’m not sure that even counts. I remember it though. It was a school day. His name was Tom and he got me a cringey card and a Me to You bear. It makes me laugh to think about a tiny ten year old boy going into the local card shop for a Valentine’s card

15/2 Still feel a little down in the dumps but less so. I’m going to have to stop over-thinking. If I dwell, it’ll consume me. I’m a resilient egg and I can soldier on

19/2 I saw an elderly couple today. They were both wearing mustard-coloured coats. They were holding hands and someone walked in between them and the panicked look on both of their faces made me smile. They’d only been separated for a second but they scrambled to hold hands again. It made me feel all warm and glowy

23/2 I wish I had been raised somewhere mountainous, and had extensive knowledge of mountain living. If I did, I’d move to the Alps in a heartbeat. I’d set up home in a cabin with my lover and a cat or two

28/2 I had a job interview this morning. To say it was nerve-wracking is an understatement. I think it went okay but I’m unsure. If I do get it, things are going to be so different. I strolled home and bought myself some daffodils. My head feels pretty over-burdened at the moment, I feel like I have so much to sort out but not the will to do it

Thanks for reading, Hils

 

Spare Time

This is sort of a follow-on from my previous post where I mentioned how rubbish I was at occupying my spare time. It kind of occurred to me that one of the reasons for that is that I’m uncomfortable in my surroundings when I’m alone. My current flat doesn’t make me feel particularly warm and safe, and as such it’s hard to relax and unwind. But come April, I’ll be in the new place and I’m determined to make it as clean, cosy and homely as possible

I’ll be living with my boyfriend anyway so that’s going to be a major plus and it’ll definitley help me to feel safer. The aim of this post is to detail the sorts of things I want to do to occupy my time. I want to learn new skills and become interested in more things

One thing I want to get into is cooking, but proper cooking. I want to be the sort of person who chops vegetables. I want my chap to come home from work and be like “mate, that smells banging!” I want to bake little picnic goodies and spend a summer afternoon in the countryside with my friends. The main reason I want to learn cooking is because I want to get my eating habits in check. I go days without eating, and when I do eat it’s not particularly nutritious stuff so I need to sort myself out. Perhaps learning to cook might help me a little bit there

I also want to develop my genealogy skills. I’m a bit of a dab hand at family trees now, and have cracked on with a good number of them for family and friends. But I want to perfect it, and maybe when I’m a bit older and more advanced I could start a little side-business. I really enjoy delving into people’s histories, especially when I find out super cool stories

The third thing I’d like to give a go is some type of quiet hobby. I like peace and serenity but I scarcely have the time to enjoy it, and as such it’d be nice to try and incorporate it into my daily life and see whether it makes a difference to my mental wellbeing. I don’t know whether I’d like to try meditation or just a simple quiet activity like painting or daily walks, but I want to figure something out and attempt to set aside a couple of hours each week to spend some time partaking

Thanks for reading, Hils