Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Serotonin: a polish and a theory

Dr lacquer sell a polish called serotonin. It's part of their hormones series. When I discovered this I had to have it lol.
I love this brand in general, it appeals to my (not so) hidden nerd. I enjoy the science link and the puns in many of the titles. Plus the logo's adorable :p lol.
Asides from all that one of my weirder set of possessions is a collection of serotonin themed objects. Earrings and necklaces and such. Magnets. So it only seemed right to add a polish lol.

Next question I guess would be why? Lol. Well one of the most popular suggestions for the cause of depression is the serotonin hypothesis. This essentially states that depression is caused by levels of serotonin in the brain being too low. Serotonin itself is a  neurotransmitter, a substance that moves around the brain carrying messages, and is responsible for a huge number of different things. It's been suggested that there's a correlation between reduced serotonin levels and depression.  It's possible that low levels cause the symptoms of depression. It's possible depression causes low levels of serotonin. It's also possible that another factor causes both low serotonin levels and depression.
In the weird way of psychology and science in general the theory popped up in a round about way when an observation in an entirely separate area of medicine led to a possible treatment for depression, which seemed to work. From here a theory was suggested for why the medication worked (welcome serotonin) and reversed. If increasing serotonin helps depression then low levels could cause it. The  hypothesis has been researched of course, adapted, had bits bolted on bits taken offand given rise to other newer ideas.

But I'm rambling and I didn't mean this to turn into a psychology lesson. So back to the point. The reason I care in the first place is simple. I've had mental health problems for several years and since very early on I've wanted to know why. Not really in a self pitying 'why me' kinda way (though I have my moments of self pity no doubt lol). I just like to know things, I like to make sense of things. And there is no real logic to mental illness in many cases. I mean for me personally there was no massive trauma that triggered it, no deprived or abusive childhood. No bullying. No particular struggles at school. No underlying physical condition. No massive upheaval or make life events that precipitated it. It just was. And if for a long time before it actually was it kinda was. Depression was not that dissimilar to the usual state of my brain, just that the levels had been fiddled with. The volume had been turned way up and muted at the same time. Depression lives a good paradox.
Anyway point being, with no obvious psychological causes I set out to find out as much about the physical side of mental health as I could. And whilst i won't bore you with it all here, it's seriously fascinating. I still don't have the answers I want of course, because nobody does. But I do have a lot more information and knowledge and that's never a bad thing. The serotonin hypothesis has several holes, and there are more well rounded ones being explored but serotonin is some sort of symbol or talisman for me. It represents the biology, the search for answers and the fact that maybe I'm not just being pathetic.
Oh and the polish is pretty. And thermal :p.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Pot lock polishing

Soooo I have many, many new tarastalons polishes to play with :). This is exciting indeed!
It does however pose the problem of which pretty shiny things to play with first. I've decided, in a somewhat childish move, to play a game. Reach into the bag, grab a polish, decision made. Of course there are also nail art mixes to have fun with but I'll be more logical about those lol. So far the two I've grabbed from the lucky dip are the blue 'tinsel' (which would have been better layered on top of something, I'll do that at some point) and 'dancer' which is a great fun mix of.... anything and everything lol. Including skull glitter. I do love taras glitters a lot, they always apply nicely and the proportions are good.
Since I'm sure I'll find many other things to ramble about in between I'll probably do one long post on these polishes once a week or so.
I must do some proper nail art at some point too and actually start planning posts properly lol. Ho hum. X

Friday, 27 December 2013

And sleep. Just sleep.

Sleep? What's that? Lol.
Something that has a huge impact on mental health for a start. Lack of sleep can be associated with all sorts of things, from mood swings to digestive issues and on to irritability via headaches and paranoia (or pianos apparently according to predictive text lol).
I fail at sleep, I always have. And the worse in doing mentally the worse I sleep.... and the worse I sleep the worse I do mentally, rather annoying that! But since in fairly certain that's not just me I figured I'd share a few things I find helpful.
*Note* evidently these aren't the perfect solution or I wouldn't be posting about lack of sleep! Nor do I always follow them. I have done no research specifically for this post so this certainly doesn't qualify as professional advice, it's just things that help me. If sleep is a major issue for you please consult a medical professional not some sleep deprived crazy person on the Internet :p*

- it's generally not good to eat a huge meal just before bed but equally being hungry or thirsty is something that frequently keeps me awake. A drink and a snack before bed may help (in aware this is easier said than done in some cases).
- similarly of I notice any discomfort hunger/thirst/being too hot/needing to pee etc. I find trying to ignore it will just lead to ruminating and obsessing over it.
- routine. This is one thing the professional advice does say. I'm quite good at this nowadays. Pajamas, teeth, cuppa, say goodnight to the dog (:p), meds, sleep.
- try not to get into text/messenger conversions close to bed time. I'm not one to discourage being sociable but yea, it's so easy to just get sucked in and suddenly find it's one in the morning and you're both shattered... I'm bad at this one!
- 'adult night lights'. Generally darkness is advised, and I do prefer it really, but if im having a really crappy night then a lava lamp/fibre optic lamp/anything similar can help drag my mind away from its silly spiral and back to the physical world.
- speaking of which there are mindfulness and meditation tracks and exercises designed specifically for bedtime. It's a bit trial and error finding the right one so I'll let you Google for yourself.  Incidentally, general mindfulness practice claims to help with sleep.
- background noise. I hate sleeping in silence. Although some people are the complete opposite I know. Noise is usually the sound track to one of the comedy panel shows on iplayer. This is probably a poor choice tbh lol. Other options could be the aforementioned mindfulness tracks, white noise, music, nature sounds etc.
- writing a diary.... sometimes. This is a difficult one sometimes writing a diary can help to dump the brain crap and make my head quieter, sometimes it just puts it to the front of my mind. And since I haven't written a diary for a long time it's probably irrelevant.
- cuddly toys. I'm nearly twenty five, I still have a teddy. I don't care if it's childish he came all the way to Mexico with me :p. It's a comfort thing, it's a grounding thing, it's an associative thing. Plus he's cute Hehe.
- doing something productive before bed. Even if it's something silly, it just helps feel a little more accomplished and a little less useless....and a little more like I've earned sleep (I have issues with deliberate sleep deprivation as a form of self-punishment... particularly if i'm not self harming in other ways. I'm working on it lol).

Oh ramble ramble! I should be trying to sleep instead of writing about it (turn off all electrical gadgets at bed time that's a good one!). Picture is my 'grown up' (honest!) Mexican night light, it projects images on the ceiling :). X

Thursday, 26 December 2013

It's Christmas... honest!

Yep so today is officially Christmas at the Wright residence. Once I'd finished work anyway :p lol.
I have to set I've been disgustingly spoilt.... But I'm pretty sure the rest of the family have been too Haha.
Since it was present day I thought I'd paint presents on my nails.... and a little tree for them to go under lol. Base colour is a-England again cos I can't get enough atm, then silver models own nail art pen, plus little dots in rimmel space dust shooting stars, I like an excuse to use it tbh. Sorry about the pics I'm tired and lazy tonight!
Like I say I was entirely spoilt but just to stick to nails I have a new manicure set, a buffer some acetone and practical bits and...... The tarastalons gift box! The photo is of the contents, rather unceremoniously dumped in a gift bag before they went astray and ended up in the bin. I'll do a proper pic at some point but I couldn't resist popping one up tonight :) Hehe. X

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas all

Yawn hope it's been a good one. In shattered and we haven't even had our 'official Christmas' yet (if the Queen has two birthdays we can have two Christmases!).
Today I worked, which I always rather enjoy, it's nice to see 'my ladies' on christmas day. The brother also worked as he's a chef, so we went and had a delayed lunch down the pub where he works.
Tomorrow we open presents... impressed with the restraint? Lol. Then saturday we have the big lunch with all the family and crackers and merriment and overindulgence and such. Oh and three hours ringing!
Basically we stretch Christmas lol.
Two quick nails, snowy scene yesterday with nails Inc new york noir, pocket money polishes white satin. And nails inspire holo top coat. Today a-England avalon, rimmel spacedust shooting stars and born pretty store stars.
Night. X

Oh damn, I took pics of the first one on my tab lol, I'll put them up tomorrow. X

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Bear with! pocket money polish swatches

Bear with a) because this post could become messy due to one again trying to do this from phone and b) I love Miranda :p...The tv show as opposed to some random unsuspecting woman! Oh I talk nonsense at night, need to start posting during the day. Anyway without further ado, on to the actual point of this post! I've got to say I've been coveting several PMP for a while, and holding off more due to indecision than anything else lol. In the end I made most of the decisions based more on the names than the polishes, since the polishes were all beautiful anyway lol. Two of them were a 'shuffle' because I can never resist the allure of potluck polishes lol. As a general overview I love the music theme of these polishes, they were easy to apply even for glitter-impatient me. They also arrived really quickly which is always a bonus, it's not just glitter I'm impatient with! Oh and the brand is a UK indie which is always a good thing (speaking of, don't forget to check out the uk polish blogger ladies at the end).
I cheated and bunged several on at once cos I was feeling lazy sorry! So we have
This is 'time of my life'. I was drawn to it for.... reasons we won't get into right now, and I was slightly concerned it might be a bit 'cutesy' for me. Turns out I actually kinda love it. The squares make it just that little bit more interesting and different and the scatter of holo glitter brings it all together. The stars (Oh yea it has stars i just didn't catch any this time lol) and hearts are a nice size and I like the confetti life translucency of some of the glitter.
This one is 'I want candy' I actually chose this one for the polish not the name Haha. I've been listing agreed it for a very long time and it didn't disappoint. I love bright glitters a lot and the variety of shapes and sizes in here are such fun (more miranda lol). I particularly like the teeny tiny glitters cos I think they add me depth.
Middle finger is 'magic'. As in 'it's a kinda...' and we're back in the realms of choosing by names lol. I love Queen. A lot. I did also like the colours of this if that redeems me at all, plus I don't own anything like it. I'm a major purple addict so I love the occasional people hexes against the vibrant Green... and again the variety is awesome.
Fourth brings us to keep the faith, which was one of the shuffle polishes. And one I probably would have chosen for myself (had I been being sensible and picking by colours rather than bands lol). The bright blue is a beautiful colour and the flashes of gold set it off wonderfully. The little finger is actually an indies indy polish, and not particularly well painted so we'll ignore that lol.
So, this is nights in white satin. A beautiful polish for a beautiful song. My polish collection contains a lot of very bright colours and I've been trying to add in a few more subtle staples. This foods the bill perfectly. It's understated and elegant with it's subtle colour and pearly finish. It's also surprisingly opaque, I expected at least the layers for such a pale colour, this is only two. The red btw is a Barry m and I'll come back to that another time.
Then I added 'hungry eyes' on top of the red. This was the second shuffle polish and is a very bling mix of white and go gold. I really love those little white squares. I also like the fact this is a slightly sparser glitter, keeps things different.
Then we have the two I already showed you cos i couldn't resist playing with them immediately. Angels and torn two songs which crop up frequently in my playlists and, I suspect, will now be popping up frequently in my nails too. I've been having great fun with the snowy look of angels given the time of year. And as for torn I kind of love it too much to think of anything to say lol. Phew! You can buy pocket money polishes here. And I think you should :p. X

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Little Things and little minds and vaseline

Oh I really am quite easily pleased. This doesn't necessarily show when I'm particularly unwell but little things will always make me smile.
Atm the little thing I'm smiling at is this little tin of vaseline. Everyone loves vaseline right? I've nearly always got one of the little lip therapy tins somewhere.... saying that I dint remember to use it quite as often as I should, and never finish a tin cos I always lose it lol.
Since this was the case with the last one I bought I randomly picked up a tin in boots, and figured I'd go mad and buy cocoa butter instead of my usual aloe Vera.

And it makes me smile. Cos it smells nice. That's pretty much the whole point of this post: cocoa butter vaseline smells nice lol. And since I used to use vaseline on my fingers way back when I was a hideous nail biter and cuticle chewer I figured I'd do that too.... and it seems to help (and did I mention it smells nice?).

So I'm happy. And felt the need to share lol. Sorry, I have a post to write about the guides and the bells and the old folks home (which sounds like the start of a joke!) But I need to be awake for that. X

A random new project

Ok so it's Saturday and you know I fail at posting Saturdays.... despite the fact it's my day off I still manage to be shattered and lazy by the end of it lol.

Anyway, bearing this in mind, I thought I'd do a quick post on my little project for the new year. 'Wreck this journal' is a book you may have heard of. Each page contains instructions such as 'fill in this page when you're really angry', 'drop the book from a great height', 'create a drawing using a piece of your hair' and other such randomness.

And I do enjoy randomness very much. I also like creativity but only in a reasonably structured way, I need a starting point cos I'm not really artistic (this may be why I love nail challenges lol). So, when I was looking at buying this as a Christmas present for a friend, I couldn't resist buying myself a copy. I admit there are a few pages that my more crazy side finds a little distressing 'colour outside the lines' for example, or disgarding a page. But challenging oneself is good right?

Anyway, I may post the odd update on the journal of I actually remember to stick to it! Lol. But I thought it was quite fun so figured I'd share. Night. X

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Cop out post with nails Inc

To blog or not to blog, that is the question. Well it's not really but hey.
I struggle with motivation at this point if the week, and this is always the point I become intensely aware of the fact I only get one day off at a time (but on the flip side at most I only work three days before my next day off!).

But enough whining, basically for whatever reason I'm feeling lazy so thought I'd bung up some nails Inc swatches I did and don't think I ever posted. Should be:
- Floral Street (white)
- Baker Street (Blue)
- Bloomsbury Square (3d glitter)...dodgy pic I screwed up the other nails :p lol
- Noho (leather effect)
- Kensington palace (magnetic)

I also got the bright yellow Carnaby Street with this but haven't had a chance to use it yet, or the free gift that came with the order. X

Friday, 20 December 2013

True love indie-d

Oh that's poor I know, sorry lol.
Just a quick post because once again it's grown hideously late with no warning. I'm sure someone steals hours while I'm not looking!

Anyway, yes, today the results of the UK indie awards (for polish of course!) were announced. Coincidently several parcels from UK indie companies landed on my doorstep. An unfortunate habit of late night shopping from my phone has led to far too many polish purchases of late- to the point I can't even remember what I'm all waiting for! But who can resist the beauty? Especially whilst sleep deprived lol.

Today's parcels were a-england, Indy's indies and pocket money polishes (yesterday was nails inspire lol). Now in my defence a couple of these are presents.... Only a couple though :s. Of course I had to try them out instantly and in an effort to be vaguely seasonal I went for a-England's vibrant Blue 'order of the garter' topped with the snowy 'angels' from PMP.

However, I then totally messed up my own polish painting mum's nails (hence the scruff in photos!) So replaced it with another a-england 'avalon' with PMP 'torn' which is an awesome song as well as an awesome polish.... As is angels.... ok I admit it I choose the PMP's based largely on the names :p.

I will be doing a proper post of each brand plus nails inspire (and whatever else turns up!) at some point but for now have a sneak peek at the pretties. X

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Crazy at Christmas

Sorry for the flippant title I hope it doesn't offend anyone, I've just always found humour one of the best ways to cope with my mental health issues.

Anyway, Christmas is fun right? I like Christmas, a lot. But sometimes I hate it. Even for the most mentally well adjusted folk it comes loaded with overindulgence, money worries, fraught relationships and too-much-to-do-not-enough-time stress. When you add mental illness into the mix the whole thing becomes infinitely more complicated.

I've picked out a few examples that spring to mind, to try to explain why we may sometimes appear a little scrooge-y. I was thinking about this the other day as I tried to sort out my outfit for my friend's party so:

1. Don't self harm kids, you'll spend the rest of you life desperately hunting for scar-friendly clothes. Ah Christmas parties, often dressy, frequently fancy and usually with the expectation of frocks. Ones which show some sort of skin. It's not that I'm ashamed of my scars per se, just that is rather not show them. It hurts the people I care about to have to see what I've done to myself over the years.  Consequently all parties are prefaced with a total meltdown trying to bodge together an outfit, usually resulting in a slight mismatch, rushed hair and no makeup.
Feeling comfortable and confident makes a huge difference to how we act and how much enjoyment we feel. It's very hard to feel either of those things in an outfit that isn't quite what you wanted because you had to think about long sleeves, whether it works with leggings, if a top rises up to show the scars on your stomach blah blah blah.

2. Food glorious food! Well except food isn't always glorious. People with depression may find themselves with no appetite. Socially anxious individuals may struggle with the minefield of eating in public. And that's before we even get to eating disorders! Bulimics and compulsive over eaters surrounded by temptation, having good practically forced on them. Anorexics eternally being offered unsafe treats which they can't allow themselves. (That is of course very oversimplified I know). And pretty much any event this time of year centres around food, chocolates are the perfect gift when you don't know what else to buy and the tv is chock-a-block with good shows.

3. When Christmas isn't so merry. Ah yes, happiness is practically compulsory this time of year isn't it? If you're unhappy you become a scrooge or a grinch or a party pooper. But what about when it's more than just lack of Christmas cheer, when you can't just get in the spirit? Someone suffering from a long term mood disorder is unlikely to suddenly recover because there's Christmas pie's in the oven or a conifer in the corner. That's not to say these are bad or pointless just that they aren't magic (sorry, I know Christmas used to be :(). On top of this the incessant cheerfulness all around, the pressure to plaster on the happy face, can have the opposite effect.

4. Let's get this party started. Oh no sorry our sufferers of anxiety disorder haven't made it yet. They're still panicking about what to wear what people will think what the journey will be like how they'll get home how to talk act laugh breathe function. Or the ocd contingent who are struggling with the change of routine, the change of setting or stuck at home so long with their compulsions that it'd be ride to turn up now. Then we have those struggling with body dysmorphic disorder, it's not vanity that makes them obsess over their appearance for hours and hide away but a genuine belief that they are mutated, malformed, hideous.

5. Lest old acquaintance be forgot. And let's not neglect our friends with the most stigmatised illnesses, schizophrenia, psychosis and similar. Hiding, perhaps, for fear of how they'll be received. Maybe their illness has left them isolated from family and friends who were unable to cope with the illness. Alone, on the streets even. Merry Christmas?
Of course this can apply equally for other mental illnesses, addictions spring to mind particularly but any mental health condition can be isolating and lead to relationship breakdown.

6. Stress, stress and more stress... topped off with a little bit of booze. I talked about triggers, some of the most common include stress, sleep deprivation, change and alcohol. All of which apply at Christmas. Alcohol, like smiling, seems almost compulsory... It is seem as strange to decline a tipple. Of course this is an issue for alcoholics but can also lead to exaggerated symptoms in illneses such as bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety. On top of this many psychoactive medications are either not compatible with alcohol or significantly reduce tolerance. And nobody wants to be puking in the gutter after only a couple glasses of wine!

Oh there are many more seasonal pitfalls I could list but that's probably enough. Christmas can be a really difficult time for anyone battling mental illness. If you're a friend or family member, we know we're frustrating, we frustrate ourselves too. But it's not that we don't want to enjoy ourselves, we'd love to! It's just not that easy.
If you're someone struggling over Christmas there is help available samaritans (they're not just about suicide, and you can email it write if phones aren't your thing) or mind are good places to start. There may also be specific local helplines. And don't forget family and friends, a lot of them would love to help if they only knew how.
And have as merry a Christmas as possible. X

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Continuing the quest for Christmas cheer

Yawn sorry for the barrage of not-quite-Christmas nails. I really will do something of more substance soon!
Christmas rather dominates everything this time of year though doesn't it? And my disorganised nature means I have an obscene amount still to do. Plus I appear to have become branch Secretary for ringing which could be interesting lol.
Anyway on to nails, not much to say. I didn't like the first effort at all. Dotty Christmas tree of nameless colour club, tarastalons toy train, tarastalons eat your greens and the colgate nails Inc (lol) with a maybelline winner takes it all star over tarastalons cozy night in. Plus winner takes it all and colgate presents on thumb.
Anyway moving on to the one I actually kinda like. Couldn't get much simpler, toy train topped with glitter me this (I think that's a brand actually? But that's all it says on the bottle). Admittedly the glitter is now pink than red but it was close enough for me lol. X

Monday, 16 December 2013


Always believe in your soul?! Ahem cheesy eighties pop sorry.
Today I have slightly uncharacteristic nails in that they're kinda bling...for me at least, I'm not a huge gold fan out a huge glitter fan. I do like this glitter topper a lot though, is got a nice balance and I like that it has the slightly warmer coloured micro glitter too which gives it a little more depth. I bought it, along with the gold on my ring finger, in a mystery bag from a blog sale but I'm struggling to remember whose! Possibly geeky owl.... Then again possibly not lol. Anyway the topper is sea lore adella and the gold is polish me crazy pot of gold. The black is nails Inc new york noir of course. Also using nails Inc top and base atm in my quest to find a top coat I actually like!
I'm still in a weird limbo of wanting to be christmassy but having no ideas (despite all the beautiful holiday manis flying around!). This was by way of a compromise, sort of festive but not really.
I Wore it to the local pub Christmas quiz, maybe I hoped the gold would inspire us towards the top spot. Our maybe not, we feel slightly short in fourth place lol. Oh and it involved wine so the photography is even worse than usual :p. X

Sunday, 15 December 2013

A Night on the tiles

I meant to post this last night but I was shattered by the time I got home so it got postponed.
So I was out with friends last night to re-celebrate an old school friends wedding. It was a vegas night and the theme was dress to impress.... so I dragged out a dress that has been unworn in my cupboard for years.
And, of course, matched my nails. Or tried to. Turns out despite the ridiculous number of polishes I own I don't have a true navy. So I used that as an excuse to reuse old Blue eyes.... which I can't seem to get enough of atm. I could say the same about the polish on my ring finger, which is once again rimmel space dust shooting stars. The studs are from a born pretty wheel.
Excuse the dodgy outfit photos, there's a reason I'm not a fashion blogger! X

Friday, 13 December 2013

sort of Christmas

And the British nail bloggers inlinkz that I keep meaning to share and eternally forget! Which is very naughty of me cos there are some seriously talented ladies on the list.

Anyway, did someone mention Christmas? I'm totally lacking in holiday based nail inspiration atm tbh. I love Christmas a lot but never seem to manage to get 'in the mood' until the very last minute. Still in enjoying looking at everyone else's Christmas manis, many of which I'm totally in awe of Haha.
Anyway my first kinda christmassy look is red, green and gold (can you tell I've been following the digit-al dozen? Lol) with contrasting studs featuring tarastalons toy train as the green, maybelline winner takes all as the gold and nails Inc luminous red metallic as.... Well red.

I'm not entirely sure why that's a weird size/shape? Seems tall and thin....I need to learn to work my phone. Or ya know, buy a camera lol.

was based loosely around the song silent night as it was stuck in my head....of course now everytime i look at it i think of Starry Starry night and get that stuck in my head instead! Not helpful, esprvially as it isn't even a christmas song lol. Still.tarastalons 'old blue eyes' for the background, belle glamour white glitter, rimmel space dust shooting stars and color club silver.

And I'll leave you with that inlinkz so you can see how it should be done! X