Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Coping with everyday stressors

There's not really a much of a point to this post, in away on ringing holiday and not got a huge amount of free time.

I also have an assignment due. I study with the OU and gave fine for a few years now. When I'm ill I struggle. A lot. I deferred toys same module last year for that reason.

Now, admittedly I'm sitting here blogging because my brain is whirring a bit too far to contemplate sleep. But I'm not currently crying or hyperventilating or having a total crisis. I'm also not using any of those 'negative coping mechanisms' that we talk about so often. So I count that as a win. There's still time I'm aware, the way is due Thursday and in nowhere near done.... But I do have something that is almost complete enough to submit.

I even did some healthy things.... deep breathing, mindfulness, self care. I will always be a last minute merchant but I have at least tried to do other things right like plans and notes and things so I feel less overwhelmed. I've made choices in unrelated situations that reduce my overall anxiety.

So very unlike me lol.

This is a huge difference to many, many times in the past. And the main difference I find between kinda well and very sick. I can get stressed without having a total melt down and being unable to cope with anything at all even unrelated things. Everyone gets stressed.... and probably I have and will continue to have a lower tolerance for it than some. But at the minute I'm calling it a victory that I can be stressed and still function.

End random post. X

Saturday, 26 April 2014

GOT- Something tropical

I'm a day late again, oops! I've had so little time to play with my nails lately...and my nails have actually some time naked for once. Which means that I pick and chew and generally treat them badly. Couple that with an obscene amount of ringing and the fact I've been feeling yuck and the result is my nails are a mess. They're short and out of shape and need properly sorting. Bit I'll do that when I'm back from holiday.

But anyway. My GOT effort is a pink and yellow gradient of two OPI mini neons from tkmaxx way back when I first started. They haven't been used much tbh cos I bought them  specifically for a neon themed event lol. I used nails Inc floral Street underneath....I got this as part of a prize of fifty of their polishes at the start of the year so it's kinda a cheat. I figure since it's not actually technically visible I'll overlook it.... my base coat isn't either afterall :p. I got bits of fluff in the gradient which annoyed me and my gradients sill need a lot of work but i'm fairly ok with it. I think doing it over white meant it was probably an easier gradient to achieve.

I'll do all the usual in linkz stuff tomorrow as, once again, it's gotten late! X

Friday, 25 April 2014

Cognitive dissonance

Wikipedia (totally unreliable source and fount of all knowledge) defines cognitive dissonance as 'excessive mental stress and discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time'.

So knowing two mutually exclusive things at the same time. Thinking one thing but believing another. Behaving in a way that totally hours against your thoughts.

This is another of those things everyone does. Thinking justin beiber is crap but then enjoying listening to his music. Thinking you need to lose weight and cut out chocolate whilst eating a Mars bar. You can know that the common house spider sorting in the bath tub is unlikely to kill you and still run screaming from the room.

Cognitive dissonance is part of life. Because of that it's also part of mental illness. Everything I say from this point on is me. It's not every depressed person, every anxious person, every mental ill person. Just Me talking about my brain and my thoughts and my self. It's all me me me round here basically lol.

That out of the way, how does this concept fit in with my personal mental health. Well let's take my little rant from the other day, for example; I called myself all sorts of stupid names and accused myself of all sorts of stupid things. I suggested I was evil and that I had the power to affect a thirteen year old boy so strongly that the rest of his life was ruined. I also happen to know that said boy has rather a nice life now. I recognise that evil is an incredibly strong word to use just for getting angry with someone. I realise that there are times where I'm worthwhile and do good. At the same time I also believe truly and totally in all those horrible, disgusting things.

What's my point? I have a couple. Firstly, when I say these things it's not necessarily because I want reassurance or I'm fishing for compliments, it's because in my mind they're fact. Of course it's nice to know someone cares enough to want to contradict them....But it doesn't make an awful lot of difference. I already know I'm wrong, I just know I'm right at the same time! Which is where it all gets twinkly frustrating with one person talking logic and reason and the other listening patiently and saying yes I know but you're wrong.

Secondly: CBT. Now, I'm not knocking CBT, it helps a lot of people very much. It's the ham fisted, sledge hammer version that I dislike. The one where they repeat over and over and over as  ad nauseum that you just need to think logically and challenge what they charmingly call 'warpy thoughts' and remind you that what you think is what you feel repeatedly. No. What I think isn't always what I feel. Don't patronise me please. I'm capable of logic. In fact logic is one of my strengths for the most part (Oh look at that, I admitted I have strengths blimey!). And challenging the thoughts doesn't necessarily make them go away it just makes my head a very noisy place to live. Instead of one internal monologue telling me I'm crap I have two arguing about whether I'm crap or not and they each get louder and louder as they try to beat each other.

A while back I had a psychologist who suggested a technique called 'thought neutralisation'. He used the analogy of meeting someone on the street. This person wants to convince you of something (that their religion is the only true one, the end of the world is nigh, total enlightenment can be found in a prawn cocktail crisp. Whatever). You could stop and engage this person. You could list all the reasons they were wrong and explain to them. Chances are they're not gonna change their mind. And you're not gonna change yours. So you get into an argument...a pointless one, since no one will ever win. Alternatively you could just keep walking. Tiddly ignore them, or passify them with a 'yea ok' or 'Oh right'. Something non committal. Chances are they'll at least quieten down or at best get bored and go away. I prefer this technique (incidentally it somewhat mirrors part of a technique used for people with dementia as part of the SPECAL theory....Maybe I'll talk about that some time lol).

Thirdly, it's not because I don't value your opinion. It's not because I don't trust you. It's because that is how my brain behaves. I can, and do, work on it but no matter how earnestly or truthfully or lovingly the words are said it can't be fixed like that. I'm rambling cos I'm tired lol. Sorry. X

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Revlon parfumerie take two

Sorry lack of blogging atm (this may be a relief to some lol)... This week seems to be crazy hectic, plus I appear to have acquired a cold from somewhere which is annoying!

Obviously I couldn't resist buying more of this collection. Tbh I didn't even try :p. Though annoyingly I meant to offset the guilt by using my boots points and I forgot!

Anyway we have moonlit woods. This is somewhere between blue, purple and silver (there's more lilac in it than my photos show). It's a really pretty colour. It dries kinda satiny so it's a little streaky but asides from that it applies easily. The scent is, as you would expect, floral but not ott. It reminds me of something but I can't place it... something washing-shampoo-laundry related lol. It's pleasant anyway.

Then wild violets. I had to have this colour. I held off first time because I have similar colours.... But then I looked at more swatches online and gave in lol. It's very me. Again the pictures don't do a great job. It's very dark, almost black in fact, until it catches the light. When it does catch the light it glows. There's a certain amount of sparkle and quite a lot of navy. The scent is of course reminiscent of parma violet sweets....But less sickly sweet and more floral. I wasn't convinced I was going to like the smell much but it surprised me.

Last lime basil. I actually own a lot of greens, despite not really liking them, but I haven't got one this particular shade and it caught my eye. And I love it. It's creamy and.... nice. We always used to get told off at school for using 'nice' bit it just is. It's somewhere pleasant between bright green and antique-y muted greens. Between lime and basil I guess :p. The scent is surprisingly nice too... though I do love citrus scents anyway. It's sharp and fresh but with a slight earthy sweetness underneath. For some reason reminds me of pancakes (I guess the citrus maybe?).

I just love the application of these polishes. I'm terribly intolerant of anything that's hard to apply... Just my impatient nature I guess! Plus the brush I use for clean up is getting ratty and harder to use but I haven't found a nice one to replace it yet lol.

Ho-hum pictures and bed. X

Friday, 18 April 2014

Butterfly nails

Lol excuse the boring title! There's some actual effort gone into the nails tough so maybe that makes up for it :p.
I went out for a meal with friends so I thought I'd tie my nails in with my outfit. I've included a shot of the outfit (now that doesn't happen often, there's a reason I'm not a fashion Blogger lol) so you can see if you think I succeeded or not.
The base is nails Inc Covent Garden ballet. Then one coat of tarastalons diamonds on thumb and pinky. One butterfly stamped on ring finger in nails Inc the Thames and two more in Barry m Heather from the silks collection. The stamp is...I dunno, from a Claire's accessories set I think, as are the random stamps on my other two fingers which are also in Barry m Heather.
I'm kinda surprised with how well the stamping came out actually.... asides from the middle finger one being in a weird position, I'm reasonably happy the. I like the glitter too but I'm not sure I chose the right two nails to glitter...I kinda wasn't really sure, when I started, where this was going lol. Finally of I did it again I think I'd probably stamp the Heather butterflies behind the Thames one.... Our at least one of them behind and one on top. I feel like it'd be more balanced then. And I do like the subtle effect of the stamping with Heather.... even if it was really hard to photograph! Lol. X

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Lazy GOT- hot pink

I only have one old polish that could be classed as hot pink. It's sinful colors cream pink. Then I added Black glitter and topcoat and that's it. I had other plans. And I was at least gonna do a glitter gradient... Up until the last minute when it was just too much effort lol. So simple pimple today. I dunno the name of the glitter but it's by simple pleasures. I owe replies to folk but I'm kinda half asleep so I'll do that tomorrow? I'll add the in linkz then too. X
Ps. Haha excuse the photos!!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Self doubt

I don't know what to wrote about today, my brain is all mushy. I have a few swatches I could post but I cba to do the writing and they look horrible and my nails are a mess and the photos are horrible... and blah. Everything is just wrong today, I can't do anything right and I just want to hide and cry.

I don't often write about the here and now....About what my brain is doing at the present moment. That's largely because if I do it makes no sense and hops about and contradicts itself. Cos that's what my brain does. I'd rather write from a couple steps away so that it's more coherent.

But today I can't think of anything to write. So this is my brain.

Self doubt. Yes. I doubt myself. I doubt my capability, my intelligence, my worth I mistrust my thoughts and my feelings and my opinions. I don't believe in my own judgement or my ability to make decisions. Basically I just assume I'm wrong, I'm bad, I'm mistaken. If I'm sad it's pathetic, if I'm happy it's undeserved and if I'm angry it's unwarranted.

Lack of confidence, is that what it is? Low self esteem? Lack of self worth? Self hatred? Do many words. So many slightly different experiences. At least if I hate myself I'll try to improve. At least if I find myself worthless I'll always put others first. At least if I know I'm horrible I'll try my best to counteract it and be nicer and be more patient and less selfish and better always better. The tin man didn't have a heart... so he was extra compassionate to everything to compensate. There's a joke in there somewhere.

The problem is wellness. Part of being well is accepting myself more. Part of being well is allowing myself to be worth something. Part of being well is admitting to myself I have rights and needs and even wants and that it's on to have them and on to ask for them.

But when I'm well I'm a bitch. I don't care as much so I fuck everything up and put myself first and hurt other people and generally act like a stupid cow. Except I didn't think that was what I was doing. I didn't think I was perfect, I'll accept when I'm being unreasonable or childish. But I thought I had a legitimate point. And then I was the bad guy. And I don't know why. But I'm sure she's right.

I fought with a friend. Should have mentioned that before would have made more sense.

But everything spirals away backwards and I'm not that person anymore, except I am. Always I think I'm right, I think I'm justified, I think I have a point. And then I'm in the wrong and everyone hates me and everyone is hurt and I'm a bad person. Which is why I need to think badly of myself.

Way back when I was in middle school, I thought I was right. I was asked to make a choice and I tried not to and I tried to compromise and I failed cos I'm useless and so I chose.... and I chose the person who wasn't forcing me to choose. That was wrong. I was horrible and cruel and I was a bully and evolve hated me and then the person I chose fucked off and the person I didn't choose moved schools to avoid me. And I was wrong. And I'm a bad person.

In college I thought I was right. I was ill. But I didn't know I was ill. I thought it was fine. I knew it wasn't but I still thought it was. Cos I thought I was just being stupid and pathetic and there was nothing wrong and it was all my fault and nobody would help me cos I didn't need out deserve help. Except they thought I did. And me being crazy hurt them. So they ignored me. And when they stopped ignoring me we fought. And I was selfish and didn't care about them and needed to get a grip and I was a head case and a psycho and should just fuck off cos they couldn't deal with me and they shouldn't have to. And I thought I was fine. And I was wrong. And I'm a bad person.

And then him.

Not and then really. That was before. Not before middle school, before college. This is in the wrong order. I was sure I was right with him. I mean I only told the truth....That should be right. And it wasn't a big deal exactly. Or at all. We were 'going out' like you do when you're 13 and think you're really old. And he wanted to experiment and so he invited me round and he asked if he could 'finger' me and I said no. So he did it anyway. And than I went home. And so it wasn't a big deal. But then he boasted about it. To one of my best friends. That I'd let him touch me, that he was a big man cos he fingered me. And the friend told me. And I told the friend. All I told the friend was I didn't want him to. And it all got weird and I told the friend the story. Then everyone knew the story. Ams I didn't want everyone to know the story but I thought at least I'm right in this story. But I wasn't. I was a slag and a slut and a liar and an attention seeker and a drama queen and I needed to get over myself and get a grip and so being selfish cos I had ruined his life and what a cow and it's so long ago get over it. And so I was wrong. And I'm a bad person.

And I'm always wrong. And in always a bad person. And I need to not be me cos me is not nice. And I need to not deal with people cos I just hurt them. And I need to not be. But that's not ok cos that's wrong too. It's always bloody wrong whatever. It's always selfish and it's always stupid and it always hurts people. And I wish my brain would sit still and work in some kind of useful way instead of wasting energy on stupid half memories and non-thoughts.

I need to breathe. And think. And sleep. Meditation? Rah, whatever. I'm having a shit day. With any luck tomorrow might be better. Who really knows. But it's bed time. X

Tuesday, 15 April 2014


We all know that compromise is important in life, right? It's an integral part of work, relationships, friendships? You compromise with other drivers when you each move over to pass on a single track road...or not when the other driver expects you to drive vertically along the bank while they remain in the middle of the road. When compromise breaks down things end badly (see previous driving example).

What we don't think about so much is compromising with ourselves. I'm thinking specifically of mental health here but it's applicable to all.

For a really long time after I realised I was ill I was determined not to give in to said illness, to the point of obsession. I'm not suggesting I should give in and I'm still determined not to, just in a more sensible way.

In my own weird way I'm a perfectionist and I often slip into all or nothing type thoughts. I refused to let the illness stop me doing things that were important to me. Which then extended to refusing to let the illness stop me doing anything. Which finally grew to 'I must do absolutely everything whether I want to or not otherwise I'm just letting the illness win'. Which is of course ridiculous. And  ironically became part of my crazy.

The thing was, I didn't want to use depression or anxiety or whatever as an excuse. I didn't want it to be something to hide behind. But I became so worried about doing so that I assumed that everything I didn't want to do was due to those things. If I didn't fancy a night out it was because I was depressed and isolating. If I didn't want to go to McDonald's it was because of food issues. And, if I'm honest, there were people in my life who encouraged this style of thinking.

I was determined not to be ruled by mental health issues.... and became ruled by the idea of not wanting to be ruled by mental health issues! I was convinced by the idea that it was unhealthy to wallow. Which it is. But it's healthy to cut yourself some slack and not put yourself in situations that are going to be unnecessarily damaging or cause a disproportionate level of distress.

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't condone giving in to negative thoughts and feelings and doing whatever the hell they want....a certain amount of stubbornness can work wonders in some situations. I also don't mean to imply in any way that mental illness is a choice or that people who are ill can just knuckle down and get on with it. Personally I've been lucky in that I've always remained fairly functional....there are a lot of people who can't and who don't have the option to force themselves to do whatever. Everyone's experience is different.

But back to the point. Nowadays I try to be more critical of my decision making. I don't just automatically think 'I must accept every invitation otherwise I'm giving in to social anxiety'. Instead I weigh up all the information. Do I even want to go? Is the event, the location, the company something I'll find enjoyable? Have I had a long day and am genuinely tired or do I need to be up at the crack of dawn and not want to be out til late? All of these are reasonable considerations along with how much money I happen to have, what other commitments I have etc etc.

At the same time, while I still won't give in to my mental health issues I will take them into account. Important events, such as major birthday parties, weddings, meetings with old friends I rarely see, happen no matter what. Most things I'm committed to happen. And I won't miss out on major opportunities (the trip to Mexico last year, for example,  which was hugely difficult but which I wasn't going to miss for anything). On the other hand if I'm having a particularly bad day I feel justified in turning down a casual invitation for drinks or in coming home and reading a book instead of going to the pub after ringing. If it becomes a trend I might start to notice but every once in a while I'll let myself off. Equally if the situation is one that would be particularly difficult (something like clubbing, or meeting with a large group of new people) then I'll assess my ability to handle at that time. The chances of it being really good once I got there and boosting my confidence/mood vs. the chances that it really will be as bad as I expect and I'll leave feeling vulnerable and distressed.

So yes. As I said at the beginning, it's all about balance. But letting up on the pressure has helped me a lot. And by being more selective I'm able to handle the things I do do much better and get more enjoyment out of them. I still find it hard to accept I have limitations but I try to remember all those corny comparisons, if I broke my leg I wouldn't expect to be able to run up stairs right now. I preach about how people shouldn't expect people with mental illness to just get a grip....yet I was expecting exactly that from myself! It's all compromise in life. X

Ps. Sorry, as usual I can't remember where the picture came from :(.x

Monday, 14 April 2014

Revlon parfumerie

More swatches *yawn* but these ones are totally worth it I promise! In fact one of them I loved enough to share on instagram, which pretty much never happens! I've left that one til last (or should have, sometimes Blogger app posts pics in weird orders lol).

Now, ok, I love revlon polishes bit I don't own many because they're kinda pricey for me. I'm not saying they aren't worth it just that I don't earn that much and most of what I do earn seems to go to indies haha. But I've been kinda intrigued by these and their cute little bottles and so finally gave in when boots had them on three for two (Damn those three for twos!). Besides I've never tried scented polishes before and I was curious.

First we have Italian leather, which I'm wearing atm. The colour is kinda hard to describe, I bought it because it's different to anything I have already....It kinda reminds me of opi I have a herring problem, you know apart from the fact it's an entirely different colour! The base is a khaki-grey. It's a kinda sludgy colour that should be disgusting but isn't....especially when combined with a goldy-bronze shimmer. The scent is probably the least pungent of the three I have and is quite pleasant. It smells kinda incense-y/aftershave-y. And yea I'll go with leather... Not proper in your face dead cow skin or anything but like walking into a posh shoe or handbag shop. The pictures are of two coats with top coat though actually it would probably stretch to one coat on nails as short as mine, I just made a bit of a mess of the first coat lol.

Then, ginger melon. I was a little dubious of this as I hate melon scents but I really liked the colour so I went for it anyway. Actually I needn't have worried as it smells more like sweeties than anything, though not in a cloying, sickly way. The scent was quite a bit stronger on this one too. The colour is, well, pink. It has a lot in common with Barry m pink grapefruit, which is partly why I bought it. I have the Barry M and I love the colour... But the polish hates mee! It's not a total match, this is a slightly colder colour, but it's close enough to fill the same niche. This one was less opaque, I used three coats and topcoat. It was also a little streaky to apply but leveled itself out quite well as it dried.

Lastly is autumn spice. I'm gonna be honest, the pictures don't do this justice, I seriously love it. It's a deep, rich, shimmery, chestnut brown. One of my fb friends described it as glittery chocolate lol. It reminds me a lot of conkers when they're fresh from the tree and shining in the sun. Yea, if the name didn't give it away, this is a very autumnal colour.... But I don't care I plan to wear it throughout spring anyway :p. Plus I feel with the red-gold glow it gas a certain amount of mileage as a summer colour in a weird kind of way. And it's pretty much the easiest polish I've found to apply ever. It goes on so easily and I love the consistency. And the scent is pretty much what you'd expect from the name spicy, cinnamon-y, clove-y, warm. There's just something about this polish that makes me feel pampered I don't know why lol.

I really love these polishes (you may have guessed!) And I suspect I'm going to have give willpower issues when I next go back to boots. Oh and final point: I've worn each of these for nearly a day and none of them chipped in any major way. That may not sound that impressive but it never happens for me. Mostly I have at least one serious chip on each nail by the time I remove it and often have lost more than one whole nail of polish. So that's a major bonus! The smells lasted pretty well too but at the same time were unobtrusive. I would definitely recommend these. X

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Barry m aquarium- Pacific and Arabian

Who can resist Barry M, really? I can't anyway. But I'm finding self control is not a strong point right now lol. Too. Much. Polish. And it's not often I say the haha.
But anyway they are at least beautiful :p. I find duo-chromes fascinating. I enjoy playing with them in the light (to the detriment of anything else I should be doing lol). So I bought two. The lighter one (more greeny gold) is Arabian and the darker (Blue/teal/indigo) is Pacific. Pacific especially really does make me think of the sea. and the colour shift is really quite strong....it also helps that we've actually had sun this week lol.
They apply nicely....I had some issues with arabian particularly but I'm pretty sure that isn't the polish's fault tbh. I seem to be having issues with bubbles that are only visible once the polish is dry, I'm not really sure what I'm doing wrong. The nails look smooth and neat and then as it dries bumps start appearing which on inspection are bubbles under the surface. Anyway that's really not the point lol.
Here are pretties. X

Ps. Excuse the dog in the background, she's my baby lol. X