Category Archives: #radicalselflove

Nap Queen

I love to sleep. I rarely lie in past 9 on the weekend but I am partial to an afternoon nap and truth be told if I know this is a viable option, I will look forward to it until the moment I can slip my clothes off and climb beneath the duvet. The absolute decadence of adding a hot bath into this mix is next level bliss – and I suppose it’s the so-called naughtiness of sleeping during the day that makes this all seem so thrilling.

My only issue is that I always sleep too long and wake up grumpier than Godzilla and with even less grace. Heaven help my loved ones if they try to talk to me post-nap. I need another 30 minutes of total isolation to get myself together. Varying reports from various sources (e.g. fellow nap queens) state 40 minutes is the perfect length to avoid the beast (hence 40 winks) but another friend swears down that it’s actually 22. I tried that on Saturday but slept through my alarm and clocked in two hours instead. Then had to have an angry bath to pull myself together.

One of the things I find hard in my household is that my loved one wakes extremely early and then shames me if I don’t do the same. In jest obviously but he does say he spends hours in the morning just waiting for me to wake up (which might explain why he’s so irritating when I do). Then when I want to nap in the afternoon he doesn’t get that either – so I have to take naps feeling slightly guilty and it’s not on. I’m very vocal that this isn’t my problem and if I want a nap I’m taking one but why is taking time out to rest a bad thing?

This goes back to the people who get all pissy with you when you tell them you’ve done fuck all all weekend and couldn’t be happier. They’re all shooketh because they’ve climbed a mountain/been to a festival/built a house for underprivileged teenagers – and what have you done? Watched almost two seasons of American Horror Story, written three film reviews and NAPPED thankyouverymuch!

I’m a homebody anyway and I try to listen to my body and my mind when they tell me they want a time out. I’m not sleeping because I’m lazy or I don’t have anything better to do – I’m giving myself a chance to recharge so I can be better when I’m not resting. Whether this actually works is another matter but it makes me feel better and I won’t be ashamed. Other people have always got an opinion but I love the balance I have in my life – I love that I know when I desperately need time to myself and when I want to see people. I love my own company and I love to nest like a kitten.

If I could celebrate right now with a nap, I would! 💤🛌

Anxiety, my old friend

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I’ve decided that it’s time I was a little more honest with myself, and whoever reads these posts, from now on.

To be clear, I don’t think I present too false an image of my life. What you see is pretty much what you get, bar the filters I slap on my tired old selfies on the daily.  I choose not to go in on work or things that are happening that suck but that’s because I’m an optimist and prefer to think positively. Those times pass and I get through them, as we all tend to do. So what’s the point of dwelling on them?

But over the last year or so my anxiety has been out of control and I’m going to start talking about it because it has become such a big part of my life. I need to work it outward basically.

Film reviews and other topics will continue as normal, but I will be exercising a more ‘honest feelings’ policy around here.  Skip if you’re not into it, I understand.

I’m not good enough

I don’t know when I start freaking the fuck out in my mind but I would swear I wasn’t an anxious child. I’ve always been sensitive but I don’t think I had anymore self-doubt than my friends or the other people around me.

As a young adult I did crazy brave things and even at rock bottom, in the midst of my very worst period, I was fearless enough to (eventually) say fuck it and live in a new city alone, with no concern for the future.

Can I blame my bad relationship for my anxiety now? I don’t think I can. He made me walk on egg shells for six years and I always feel sorry for taking up space, talking out of turn – most days for simply existing. That lot is firmly his fault but the anxiety I have now feels different.

Anxiety ruins my evenings and stops me sleeping at night. I swear down every single person I encounter on certain days hates me and I have upset them irretrievably somehow. Not only that but I’m a total failure with no hope for the future and I will never make anything of my life. I actually believe more often that not that I bring nothing of worth to anybody.

I tell myself I’m no good, not worthy of a better job, say, of earning good money because I didn’t go to University, that I’m stupid, slow, clumsy (I am clumsy). That I’m lucky to have got the things I have because God knows it will never get better. I have no right or reason to feel this way and yet, here we are. Here I am worrying about everything ever in the history of the world.

I know I’m not alone. A very close friend of mine has panic attacks and although I used to sit with her at work until they subsided, I couldn’t empathise fully. I had no idea then what anxiety really was or what it felt like to have a panic attack. Until I had one walking home from town just after Christmas, and then another one in the middle of the night. I genuinely thought that was it and I’ve had it in the back of my mind ever since.

So there it is. Anxiety and I have become well-acquainted over the last year or two – and it’s pretty toxic. I wish I could shake it forever but then, isn’t it just one of the things that makes me who I am? Doesn’t it attune me to the people in my life who feel the same? My fellow anxious ones.

Mental health is so important and we can’t afford not to be open about it. What it is, how it feels, how we cope with it. I don’t have any answers by the way, some days I struggle to leave the flat but maybe I’ll find a new way to live if I’m more honest with myself and others.

I love my life so much despite the anxiousness, and I’m sick of being scared all the time. I want to do great things, even if they’re small things that only please me. I want to stand at the end of my life and be chuffed that I got on with it, even when my inner naysayer was trying to stop me.

I want to be fearless again – or half-way fearless. That’ll do.

Anyone else out there feeling me? How do you cope with that ol’ devil called anxiety? ❤

Blue Monday

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I was going to do a whole schtick about Blue Monday and my ‘cure’ for such days but, on reading the post back, I realised it was coming off too flippant. Like, ha the cure for any bad day is obviously Jason Momoa’s Instagram, and while I wish more than anything it was that simple, I know it’s not.

All I can say is that anyone affected by anxiety and Mental Health Issues, I hope you get the help you need. You’re not alone, no matter how much it might feel that way.

And maybe Blue Monday is a good thing if it gets us all talking about the January Blues and how depressing it can all be. Maybe in knowing something like this is coming we can better arm ourselves against it? Practicing self-care is incredibly important, be that a bubble bath or taking the whole day off social media to protect yourself from triggering news. We gotta do what we gotta do, right? There’s no other way.

This isn’t meant to be a woe is me post personally but I know how it feels to feel hopeless and trapped and terrified, something I’ve held on to for way too long, let me tell you. And it rears its ugly head in the form of anxiety and doubt all the time. But things can get better, do get more manageable and they can change.

They can change for you too. 💙

If you’re in the UK, you can dial 116 123 to get through to The Samaritans.
This is a handy looking list of Mental Health helplines is good too.

Oh, just in case, this is Momoa’s Insta. 💙

Radical

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I don’t know who’s artwork this is, but I love it

I saw this video yesterday, posted as part of #mentalhealthawarenessweek and like most women would on viewing it, felt very emotional.

Why is it, still, that we’re so quick to trash talk ourselves, yet would never dream of doing the same to our friends or other women? (Hopefully).

Why is it, after all this time, after all the girl power mantras, the compliment-heavy chats in toilets with drunken girls on drunken nights and all the pushing back against the impossible (and ever changing) beauty ideal, we still can’t cut ourselves some fucking slack?

It’s a simple view but I like the idea of trying to speak to myself as I would my beautiful best friends. Of seeing myself every now and again and saying “You’re beautiful girl, look at you!”.

I don’t feel pretty all the time, in fact I’m tired of the negative voice that says I’m worthless, old and lumpy, that I’m a monster who doesn’t even look human compared to anybody else.

The same voice tells me my husband is only with me for a bet (a long bet), and that people feel sick when they look at me.

Every day is a battle to get on top of that point of view and to quash it. To remind myself that it’s just one voice, that there’s a stronger voice in there somewhere, it just doesn’t shout as loud.

I’m willing to keep fighting to be honest. What other choice do I have? I’m not going down with that hateful ship, no way.

How do you practice #radicalselflove? ❤

Guest Post: Why I love My #Selfie

13335849_10154323988412022_7277487513200349573_nI can’t remember exactly when I stumbled across Hayley and her lovely blog A Stitch to Scratch but it feels like a good couple of years ago. I’m very glad that I did too, as Hayley has an aura about her than not a lot of people do. She’s so talented as well, knocking up some really interesting pieces, from toys to secret books and more recently, her own dresses. I’m beyond jealous of her skills.

I feel like we’re also on the same page when it comes to the big stuff, such as self-image and loving ourselves, body positivity and the power of a damn good jumpsuit! Hayley also rocks one of the most impressive lipstick collections I’ve seen (something I’ve never got to grips with) and although some of our tastes differ, I feel like we can learn from each other, which is the whole point of new friends and getting yourself out there.

So please enjoy this post by this blog’s honorary Maid of Honour and then check out her blog as it will likely inspire you to knock something up, MacGyver-style (but prettier).

The wonderful Christa invited me to guest post over here on one of my favourite ever blogs, and well, I was never going to turn that down!

I started out wanting to write a witty post about a subject near and dear to both our hearts – the sacred selfie – and it became something a bit more honest.

I’m glad of that, because I don’t tend towards streams of relatively unfiltered thoughts and feelings, and it was quite cathartic to write this little peice of my brain down for you all to share in.

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Why I love my #Selfie

A month or two ago on your average Saturday morning, The Boy and I were getting ready to go out somewhere thrilling like Sainsbury’s or Wilko’s. I’d done my hair and makeup, put on something pretty and took out my phone to snap a selfie.

Then The Boy looked over at me, rolled his eyes and said

“You’re so vain.”
“I’m not!”
“You’re always taking pictures of yourself.”
“Not because I’m vain.”
“Then why?”

– and that’s the killer question isn’t it? I’ve seen a fair few blog posts on selfies, lauding and condemning, and few tapping into the why of it all. When he asked me, I knew what the answer was, but I still had to sit and think for a second before I could answer honestly and with the right words.

I’m so pro-selfie. I think that putting yourself out there for the world to see is no small thing, and it should always be received with positivity.
Sometimes I hear that looking at other people’s pretty selfies makes someone feel worse about themselves, and that makes me so sad, especially when for me, it’s such a tool for the opposite.

It just makes me want to say: we’re all on the same side, ladies. We should celebrate each other’s talents, skills, beauty and all around fabulousness. We have to stop tearing each other down to feel better, or on the flip side, seeing someone looking great and feeling worse about ourselves in response.

I’m of the steadfast opinion that no-one can shame you down by being their special self. Someone showing off their height doesn’t make you shorter. Someone being beautiful, doesn’t make you uglier. It’s so hard to try and stop judging yourself against everyone else like a standard, I know, but it’s also unfair to expect people not to shine a light on their own awesomeness for fear of someone else feeling shitty in comparison.

I’m sure many people out there have their own reasons for taking their selfies, some very different from my own, but for me, personally, it pretty much comes down to self-consciousness.

When struggling with your self-image the last thing you want to see is yourself. You actively avoid mirrors and photographs. Taking selfies takes that fear and inverts it. It says this is me and I am beautiful. I am not afraid to photograph myself, to have that lasting image out there.
In the past decade I’ve gone from a sad teenage girl who physically averts her gaze from any reflective surface for fear of having to look at herself, to the positive woman I am now, readily – nay happily – snapping photos of myself and putting them online for everyone to see what I look like. Ten years ago that would have terrified me, because even I didn’t want to see what I looked like.

Taking regular selfies combats the insecurity that sometimes still eats away at my brain. It’s regularly reminding myself that I’m good enough. It means everyday I get more comfortable with what I look like. I’m proud of the progress I’ve made in the way that I look at myself, and selfies have been a big part of helping that progress along.

For me, a good portion of taking a selfie is saying, this is what I look like, and it is good. To look myself dead on and think positive thoughts. Putting that selfie online is I am proud of the way I look. See here, world, this is me, aren’t I fabulous?

Sometimes they never go online and I keep them just for me, as a memory.

To remind me that dress did not look frumpy and sack-like.

To remember that that very bold lipstick colour looked amazing, in case I ever have any doubts.

13941089_10154502260442022_523495384_nI have this one here of the first time I ever wore (or owned) a jumpsuit. Christa inspired me to get one with the way she always rocks hers, but I was so nervous to wear it I put it off for a whole month. When I plucked up the courage to don it, I snapped this selfie, to look back and remember that it did look good, for the next time I wanted to wear it but was too scared.

Bottom line: Let’s face it – who doesn’t like to see a picture of themselves looking great?

And to end relevantly, here are a million few of my recent selfies. Just because. (Though I must admit, my Instagram feed is being clogged up with pictures of kittens, rather than my face at the moment!)

Do you #selfie? Why? Why not?

Girl, Bye.

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You know what true power is?

Cutting things out of your life that hurt or anger you. No argument, no “Fuck you”, just a “Girl, bye” under your breath and you’re off. I’m currently angry and bewildered by a particular incident that happened on that wonderful barometer of how shit people can be: the internet. Specifically, Facebook.

Someone I know recently posted a status update about ‘promoting plus-size’ (and how wrong it is), and even though I should never be surprised by the general lack of sympathy toward fat people, I did expect better from this individual.

Sadly (not really), she’s no longer going to be part of my life, on any platform or in the flesh (in my case, substantially more flesh). I don’t conform to who she wants me to be nor deserve any sort of respect based on what she’s saying apparently, so I’m stepping out.

I know, I know that us fats are all just asking for trouble being the way we are. We’re all going to die horribly because we wear bigger dress sizes. We certainly don’t live active lives, how can we? We all eat shit, swerve veggies and more or less just mainline Digestives on the sofa in front of the TV day in day out. You got me.

We don’t deserve to dress nicely or enjoy fashion or beauty, life or love. We don’t deserve basic respect either while we’re here. A sweeping statement on Facebook with a Daily Mail supporting link is definitely the way to go to reach people if that’s really what you want to do. And if people are alienated, feel personally let down by your attitude, all the better right? They deserve it, the pigs.

People do not respond well to being bullied. Being hateful (even in the form of faux-health concern) will not help. If anything it will make people far less likely to make the best choices for themselves. It will make them feel like shit. It will stop them living their best lives.

How dare this person promote a love yourself mentality and then screw over all the overweight people on her friends list? Oh wait, maybe she doesn’t have any overweight friends? (She doesn’t now). She is blonde, slim and beautiful after all, and it seems not tolerant of anyone who doesn’t fit a similar ideal?

I haven’t spoken to her about this and I won’t. I’m not interested in a debate. I don’t care what she thinks or says. Chances are that she thinks she’s being helpful and that her arrogant ‘motivation’ comes from a good place. I really don’t care.

Girl, bye.

You can bet I’m exercising this mentality in all areas of my life. Brexit was a good way to measure people’s true selves and unfortunately, a handful of people fell short of what I want in my life.

There are doubtless things I say and do that alienate me from people that I don’t even register and that’s their right too. Life’s too short for bullshit and I’m done.

Click, click – over it.

P.M.A and Work Self-Love

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Do you ever sit there and suck up all the negative energy in the room? Every so often, sat at my desk at work, I realise I’m scowling for no good reason.

I’m a sponge. When people are happy, I feel happy to. When they’re crying, I can feel my own tears welling up in support. It’s nice to be in tune with people but not when you’re magnetically pulling other people’s anger and despondency toward you. Not when you have your own issues to work through, man!  I know I’m not the only one who feels this way btw.

When a day like this is happening, and I want to avoid making my face wrinkles any worse by frowning all day, I do one, some or all of the following:

  • Type up a five-minute blog post like this one
  • Eat something cheerful, like pink marshmallows or strawberry laces
  • Go onto ASOS.com quickly and buy something small to be delivered the next day. This is why I’m poor FYI
  • Eat cake
  • Look at pictures of Panda’s cat, Pudding who is my new one true love
  • Ditto photos of Bertha Mason, sweet princess baby of my Blog Wife
  • Listen to podcasts – usually film or true crime (I recently got onto untoldmurder.com and really need to get round to badfatbroads.com, which is neither film or crime themed)
  • Go for a walk and talk to colleagues under the guise of ‘working’ for ten minutes (more often 48)
  • Think about my new tattoos and future tattoos
  • Talk about the Kardashian/Jenners – I know this is lots of people’s idea of hell but their lives are pure escapism to me and I kind of love them (I know Camelia Ophelia shares this)
  • Make a 77th cup of tea
  • Water Kieran II
  • Watch this YouTube clip – or this one
  • Take a quick selfie in the loo (Snapchat filter optional)
PicMonkey Collage

Cake ~ Kieran II (the plant) ~ Puddin’ ~ Prison Tatt

I’m a big believer in PMA. I know people have bad days and miserable ones, I do too but generally I try not to let inertia creep in too much. Self-care is a very important topic for me and there are many more things I love to do to administer that. These are just the ‘work friendly’ ones I can conceivably get away with at my desk or around the workplace.

I’m not sure how ‘Dance around naked to Aerosmith’ would go down in our open plan office, truth be told.

BTW, I know this post is very ambiguous and it’s not like the cause of the office grump will ever read my blog. But I need to get it out every now and again, you know?

Out of interest, what do you do when the work blues kick in? ❤

And yes, I know we’ve got bigger problems in the world than a slightly bad day at work.