Wednesday, 22 January 2014

A Little Bit of Sparkle

One of the Autumn/Winter fashion trends that I am seriously loving is that of embellishments. I love the idea of wanting to sparkle and shine so much that clothes have extra sparkle and pearls. This gem from Primark is just the sparkle I need on grey days, which can make me so much greyer. 

One of the less than sparkly side-effects of having depression is my sometimes (read: very often) grumpy nature. A number of things make me grumpy, most of all the chemicals in my brain. But little things like my bloke being late (he's not late, I'm just early!) can make me more than a little grouchy. I like to have routine and control in my everyday life. While routine is vital for surviving depression, we do sometimes need to let go a little. Being late isn't the end of the world. The other thing that can make me moody is being told what to do. I don't like it when counsellors say, "Have you tried meditation?" As one of my friends put it, if I go to a meditation group, I will spend the whole time wondering what everyone else thinks about me and tormenting myself, wanting to get back to "work." And then there's the fact that my anxiety may have made me feel that it's necessary to cut to even get to the group. So, sometimes advice isn't always helpful. And I can get grumpy about how little it sometimes feels medical professionals understand about depression and anxiety. There sometimes becomes an us and them scenario because how could they possibly understand what depression is if they've never suffered from it. And that's true but the problem is that we don't talk openly about what depression feels like. What helps, what hinders and what hurts. 
When I had a breakdown over Christmas after my Mum had calmed me down, she asked me what had been said to cause it. She was trying to find out how best to help me. She's never had depression but she is always understanding, compassionate and wants to help.  There can also be conflicting advice. For example, many people believe that exercise helps depression. And it can do but for those with major depression it will only ever scratch the surface. Running on the spot isn't going to undo the chemicals that don't work right in my brain. Furthermore, my psychiatrist notes that in the past I have "exercised excessively." Exercise becomes for me a way of punishing myself. I will push myself more than I should, I compare myself to others in class and am self-conscious of my scarred arms. 

But, as always with depression, there is a contradiction. Sometimes I feel so pressured that I can't make a decision. The decision of which way to wear a necklace with a shirt (under the collar or over) can send me into a panic attack and floods of tears. At those moments, I become so scared that all I want is to be a child again and have decisions made for me. This is where my bloke and Mum step in and act for me. They have Mental Health Action Plans (a great idea) of what to do, what pills I should take and who to call. I wrote the plans myself and I add to them as more of illness becomes clear. 
And sometimes I become reluctant to do things because the bloke tells me it will help me or I'll enjoy it. I'll try and be evasive and say, "Oh, I'll watch it tomorrow if I've got time." Or "I'm not really in the mood for that." Or "Don't you know I have a job and a thesis. I don't have time to be faffing about!" I can be quite the handful. I don't know why I do this but hopefully one day I will do. And until then, my bloke has a wonderful way of tricking me. Saying it's a surprise so that I'm suddenly watching Wall-E, (don't ask me why I didn't want to watch this) which took me away from my pain when all I thought was "I want to die, I deserve today." Showing me funny videos that he made. And that really typifies my bloke. He is patient. He doesn't mind if I can't talk sometimes, he just sits in silence with me. He is funny. And will make me laugh when all around is dark. He is kind, holding me while I cry. He is strong when he takes me to appointments, parties and for walks. When his girlfriend told him that she wants nothing more than to die, he didn't judge, he didn't shout. He just loved me. Without him, I would possibly never realised that I was ill. It was seeing myself through his eyes and realising how much he loved me that finally prompted me to go to the doctor at the age of 24 after over 14 years of unmedicated and unassisted depression. He fed me ginger biscuits when I couldn't eat because of my meds. It was the small things that he did that made me want to get well. 

This video shows how important are the little gestures can be when your mind is a fog of pain. A smile from a stranger, a kind word from a colleague, a text from a friend. These give people with depression something to hold on when everything is telling you to let go.

If you'd like to watch Justin's video: click here.

Now for the fashion!

I think this was a gift from my lovely Lucy!

A Confirmation gift from the lovely Tamzin!

Check out the bow!
Jumper: Primark
Skirt: New Look
Brogues: New Look
Scarf: Primark
Necklace: Accessorize
Earrings: Barcelona
Hair clip: Gift

And remember this very important fact:

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