I’ve decided to take a break from blogging for the rest of December while I deal with some stuff (basically my own mental health).
I’m all good, I’ve just been having a bit of an adventure with my anxiety and overstretching myself socially, as usual.
So to combat these overwhelming feelings, Jill and I are breaking for Christmas on the Blog Collab and I’m going to probably keep it light (if I blog at all) between now and the new year. I just need to think about what I want to do and also have as much chill time as I can get.
This week is fucking mental again in terms of going out but next week I am winding down and nesting in the lead up to the big day. Fuck it. I’m going to read lots of books and take lots of baths. I want to be in PJs as much as possible. I am hanging up my false lashes for a month or two!
I will pop in I’m sure before Christmas but until then, things are going to be a little quiet over here.
I hope the festive season is being kind to you all. It can really do a number on you sometimes, financially, physically and mentally. Just remember you’re only human and can only do so much – and really the true spirit of Christmas is the cheese board, so as long as that’s taken care of, what else matters? JK of course. Christmas is what you make it. Just take care.
There have been loads of studies about how watching horror movies can actually sooth anxiety sufferers. I had never really thought about putting the two things together but it actually makes perfect sense – it also explains a lot. To me, about me.
I’ve always loved horror. When I was 18 I got my own TV in my bedroom. It was like a gateway to a new world and I fell in love with the movies right there and then. I found horror movies for the first time played late at night and I would stay up way past bedtime getting to know the big boys. Jason, Michael and pals. But I also learned about different sub-genres of horror, how they don’t all have to follow the same formula.
Now I rinse as many horror movies as I can, all the time. I just love them. Obviously there are great horror movies and there are terrible ones, and I generally feel as though there’s a place for most of them. Even the terrible teen ones that play their hand way too soon – I just need to be involved. Looking at you, True or Dare.
My favourites tend to be the psychological ones that get under the skin and fuck with your mind. I loved Hereditary this year because it took me to the darkest place imaginable. It gave me something that’s been done before but in such a different way. It shocked me, gave me feels and nightmares at the same time – and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.
I like smaller “anti” horrors that offer a slow burn with a massive pay off at the end the best. I like the horrors that feel real. They make me forget my own anxieties but could also totally happen in real life. It’s almost as if watching something like Hush, a home invasion movie about a deaf protagonist terrified in her own home is something that could so easily happen. While I myself am not deaf, I can put myself in her position. In a twisted way it makes me face up to what I might do in the same situation.
Anxiety for me is about questioning every little detail of my life, living with a constant paranoid fear that I’ve done something wrong and everybody hates me. But it’s also about fearing the very worst case scenario, for instance that my love ones will go out one day and never come back. These are the things I cannot control, the things that could happen but are unlikely. When I see a horror film it either makes me forget my own woes and focus all my feelings on the main character – or makes me stare at my own mortality face on – like I’m the final girl and the worst has already happened, so here I am: ready to fight.
I found a forum about this very topic on Reddit and user coffeeallthetime said it better than I can:
My rationale: Anxiety is your body being ready for an immediate threat that doesn’t (currently) exist, like a fight or flight response. Watching or reading horror gives a face to this “threat” and lets your mind live out the scenario, giving you a catharsis of sorts, and relieving the anxiety. Kind of like how listening to the song you have stuck in your head all the way through is supposed to help it get unstuck in your head. At least that’s how I think of it.
It’s hard to explain I guess just what I get out of these movies. They excite me, they make me tap in to my dark side, my fascination with the human psyche and how frightening human nature can be. I like the adrenaline shot I get what Laurie Strode fights off her brother – and it makes me feel like I could fight too. Let’s face it, in reality I’m more likely to be the wuss hiding under the bed but you just never know.
So to make myself feel better, I like to forget myself with horror and gore, final girls and ghosts. If it’s horrible, I want in please.
Anyone else spend a fair portion of their life worrying that they’re not a good person? I think I question this every day at least once but when drama occurs the feeling hits me tenfold and I go all floppy with inertia. Like, why am I bothering, I’m the worst, I might as well give up, go to the end of the garden and eat worms. I hate this element of myself, the part that immediately concedes that everything is my fault and rightly so I should be punished for it.
I’m really trying to take these moments and hold them at arm’s length. To examine them before I commit to hating myself because of them. Sometimes this is possible and other times, not so much. I’m trying to understand that I’m not a perfect human being and that I will make mistakes and sometimes I will be insensitive and a dick – and as long as I acknowledge these times and try to fix them (and ultimately learn from them), then I can’t be all bad. It’s always a thrilling ride inside this head of mine, thanks anxiety.
Anyway, as it’s slipping nicely into Autumn, I’m in a pensive frame of mind and trying not to beat myself up over every little thing. I’m really not a negative person on the whole and my philosophy is to try to keep things upbeat where I can so anxiety feels like the voice in my head trying to bring that down. I’ve mentioned before that it feels like a constant battle of the wills to be myself and live with these feelings. Generally I’m winning though which is good.
The chill in the air is really nice though and we’ve had a couple of those perfect cold sunny days. I’m loving wearing jeans and boots – and I love my life very much. Apart from the little wobbles about what I’m doing with my life, I know how lucky I am. I have good friends, a home, I get to live and love a really good guy – and my family are the best. I want for nothing and deep down I know I’m not the failure human being that the voice sometimes makes me believe.
Ugh. Some days no matter what you do, things just won’t go your way. One thing can throw you off or get under your skin and then suddenly you’re sobbing for every bad thing that ever happened to you.
That was me this morning, Wasting perfectly good make-up on something (and someone) insignificant but also significant enough to (almost) mess up my day. At times like this I feel it’s good to just embrace the misery. Give it time to be what it is: an outlet.
So what if I want to sob uglyly (a word?) until there’s nothing left? So what if it leads me to remember all the heartbreaks I’ve ever suffered, every rejection, every fear? Dead pets too, why not?
Crying can be cathartic and sometimes so is sadness. It reminds us we’re human and that we care about life and people and ourselves. I am still sensitive after all these years and I’m glad because sensitivity helps me connect to others.
I won’t let it drag me down for long (I’ll fight my depression to the bitter end) but I also think it’s okay to feel your feelings. It passes, so far it always has. As soon as a colleague makes a stupid joke or someone puts a heart shaped Post-It on your desk, it’s gone. Until next time.
I’m anti-social. Honestly, if I were left to my own devices I’d be a full-time hermit living on Cloud 9, never going out and having all my meals and necessities delivered to my door.
Unfortunately, I also have severe FOMO and I like my friends so cannot live out my natural anti-social tendencies to their fullest. I go out with people a lot and I do love it. Sometimes I have to bail because there are too many people in one place, take Pride for instance. One of my favourite times to be living in Brighton and yet I can only bring myself to dip a toe into the festivities before it all gets too much.
I’m not boring I promise, just anxious and crowd-phobic. Yet I look at the Instagram stories of my loved ones having fun and I wish I were wild again, I wish I could be in the midst of it. It’s a bit sad for a 40 year old to be thinking this way but I guess that’s the nature of social media and I sometimes worry I’m going to get left behind, one day I’ll be too old to be part of it and that’s bloody stupid, isn’t it?
What if everyone has so much fun without me that they stop asking me out and I’m forced to sit in night after night for the rest of my life watching re-runs of Friends on a loop, lamenting the good times? You can see the damage I do to myself by thinking this way and continually being logged on?
I know my friends love me and not just for being there socially. I bring more to the table than my appearance at every single social event (hopefully). Quality not quantity and all that.
I think I need to step back and appreciate how lucky I am. That true friendship doesn’t just stop because you’re not there for one do. And doesn’t it make the ones you make it to all the more special? Life’s hard when you’re a contradictory little bitch, innit?
I’ve started writing for my work blog and the results have been interesting. I’ve had some really genuine and lovely feedback from people I don’t know very well (as well as close colleagues and friends) – and I’ve had more than a couple of moments of pure and utter anxiety about whether I’ve said too much.
I never want to hide who I am, even in a work environment but laying it all on the table, for instance talking about anxiety or telling an anecdote from my adolescence is different.
That’s who I really am, no messing, it’s me laid bare and it takes a lot to say you don’t mind sharing it with people you pass daily on the stairwell, who might stand behind you to buy a cup of coffee in the morning, knowing you’ve never really grown out of your teenage insecurities. (I greatly over exaggerate how many work mates read my words!).
It might make me second guess myself but it also feels real and that’s a weird one to define. I think it feels good to say you know yourself enough to share it with others. To write a post about your life long journey to accepting yourself for what you really are: perfectly imperfect, fucked up, damaged but still crawling, sometimes back up on two feet, sometimes running as fast as you can without looking back.
So yes, it feels good but I still have the fear. I guess I’ll either learn to put that aside or die trying*.
I’ve always been a dreamer but lately (and for a long while now) I’ve literally been a dreamer – every night I have dreams so vivid I have no fucking clue how to process them. Or even if dreams really do mean half as much as we give them credit for.
I’m thinking of getting a dream journal so I can work through them because some of my night time adventures are so off the chain they have to be something, don’t they? I want to believe they are, anyway. I know it’s really just my brain working through my anxieties and my thoughts from the day but could it be something more?
Last night, I dreamt I was being held hostage by a family of yetis in the woods. I managed to escape because I fortuitously found a yeti mask and was able to convince them I was one of them – and then I escaped. Not after having to grunt convincingly for the ringleaders, because one of them was suspicious.
WHAT THE FUCK?
It doesn’t sound as tense as the actual dream felt, but in the moment it was a life and death situation – and I knew my body language and my verbal nods had to seem legit. And when I was out, I felt that rush of being free, of being safe again – and it was GREAT.
So the yetis were a one off but I often have reoccurring dreams, or I explore similar themes. My horrid ex is always popping up, always angry and every time I’m trying frantically to get away from him – that’s a bad one to experience continually.
I suppose the reason I have that one is pretty straightforward; it’s my worst nightmare to bump into him or to ever have to clap eyes on him again – so duh.
I think those ones come down to guilt: the guilt of allowing myself to make the choices I did back then. It’s like a PTSD situation which might sound a bit casual to throw into a blog post about dreams but is testament to the damage leftover by an abusive relationship.
I wish those ones would stop because sometimes I act out violently and have a moment on waking where I believe I’m guilty of something I can never take back.
Ditto my old best friend, she makes appearances a lot but in a much less dramatic way. We’re usually friends again (no) and I feel guilty about having to tell my actual real life best friend. It’s a relief to leave those ones behind too.
Life is strange, isn’t it? We do what we have to do and everything we juggle can be overwhelming – and then we have to run away from Big Foot at night. It would be nice to switch off my mind at least half of the week – or maybe dream only on weekends?