Despite having a lovely day with my brother and sister I am very aware that the beginnings of another depression are creeping up on me. As always I find myself trying to work out why it has come back. I am a dreadful scientist and although the Docs have told me time and time again that it has as much to do with a ‘chemical reaction in my brain due to a biological malfunction’ or some such thing I still look outward for the cause.
Perhaps I have been having too much fun of late, or maybe it is this cold that I can’t shake or the fact that I feel rather under pressure. I don’t know what it is but I find myself tearful and full of self loathing. My figure feels too full and my eyes too prone to water and generally it just kind of sucks.
I am trying to subscribe to the American way of being and think positive but it is hard and I am scared. My last high which started in October was pretty severe and according to my medical history and the famous law of what goes up must come down I cannot help but worry that this next low will be colossal.
The reason I acknowledge it here and now is that I do not want people to get the wrong idea about the nature of my illness. For those of you who are new to the blog I must admit that the lows can be quite significant and at times crippling to everything I do including friendships, work and life generally.
I am doing as far as I can see everything right. I am taking my tablets, getting plenty of sleep and seeing friends and family as often as I can. As well as having a new project to put my energy into I have even taken to eating healthily and having herbal teas, health supplements and warm baths. My only remaining vice, well more or less, is my temporary nicotine addiction and that will pass as it always does.
Fingers crossed I am just worrying without cause and tomorrow will be a brighter day. The shoes have helped in that those I have been wearing for the main part of the day are bright but comfortable without resorting to sweaty Ugg inspired slippers. I spent the most part of the day with my big sis who bought me them and according to her partner they were seen a few months ago on Dragons Den. Wearing them made a walk to the shops a hell of a lot easier but the outfit demanded heels and so they came out to play too although in the mood I’m in today the lower of the two seemed more appropriate.
Look out tomorrow for pictures of the pairs.
Armed with a lot of tears and frustration I had pretty much decided by the time I walked into the psychiatrists office today that I did not want to be on the same tablets any more. As far as I can tell they are not working and as I only see him every six weeks it is hard to tell him this.
One of the most frustrating things about this latest diagnosis is that so far it has been treated only medically, previously I’ve had counselling but what with being out of work for so long I haven’t been able to afford it myself so far and I haven’t got the heart to ask my parents to fork out like they have in the past, it’s not up to them and it wouldn’t be fair. They tell me there is a CPN who will see me to discuss coping techniques but though I have called her and left messages I have never heard back and so I keep getting discharged from the team. One would expect a formal discharge would only happen once the person is better or at least able to cope better than before but you would be wrong. People have said in the past this quick fire discharge helps their figures but maybe its more simple, maybe they just don’t care or simply don’t have the time so let a few slide along the way.
The last time I went in to see The Shrink I felt a little overwhelmed by how quickly it was over and as I am always in a bit of a state when I go there I asked my mother if she could come in to the room with me. It sounds pathetic but sometimes its just good to have someone there on your behalf who can say the words that have been in your head for weeks but just don’t come out when they need to the most. The last time I came here I admitted I was sleepy and tearful a lot of the time and was taken off duloxetine to try something new. Today when my mother admits that I am still half asleep when I leave the house he says he will take me off the tablets he put me on before.
Its all going very fast and I feel as though I have no part in this and I’m crying but I just wish I could take control. Thankfully my mother is a former English teacher and her negotiating skills are such that I sometimes wonder whether she missed out on a calling as a peace keeper. Her voice rings out clear bringing the ball firmly back into our court. If I had been alone in here I would probably have walked out of the room with a different anti depressant another referral to the elusive CPN and a feeling of utter frustration that I failed to fight my corner. It is not The Shrink’s fault but I am a wisp of myself at the moment and one of the things I wanted to get across is how hard I am finding it to connect with people. Unfortunately I am failing to connect with him as I am crying too much and am too busy hunting out tissues to properly convey how dreadful I’ve been feeling. By the time my mother has intervened carefully explaining what I have said there is an agreement that I need something other than just medication and a firm decision to take me off the quetiapine. I am relieved but terrified as this means the start of yet another drug and all I want to do is flush the whole lot down the toilet.
The whole experience is exhausting and when I walk out of there I am so frustrated I can’t stop crying. In spite of the tears I am grateful because if it wasn’t for my mother we would have got nowhere and I feel for those who come here alone.
Though it seemed like a bad thing when I was booked, visits to The Shrink generally involve travelling a good twenty miles in traffic to get to the hospital. It works out in my favour as it gives me an extra thirty minutes to stop the tears and reapply the make up. By the time I get to work I have sectioned off all thoughts of the appointment and if I can just get through the day without crying I can pretend I am just like everyone else.
- The dress is from Boden and is beautiful. My godmother gave it to me and it is so bright and cheerful it helps me in my great pretence. I feel dreadful though and I can’t stand the way I look at the moment, in anything. If I could I’d hide myself in baggy jeans and a jumper and these photos would never see the light of day.
- My dress has already been criticised today by the head of Harborough police. I saw him on the streets and he said he was not overly keen on my combination of colours; the pink tights I believe were a little too garish for him. I was a little offended and thought about suggesting he focus his attentions on arresting the legging lovelies flashing their front rumps nearby but I was running a little late for work and had to go on my merry way. The dress got me into a rather uncomfortable situation later on the same day when the Liberal Democrat councillors came to call. As a sleep deprived reporter I had not even considered the political connotations of my choice and had to come clean and admit the dress was down to an overall shortage of office wear rather than an attempt to fly the colours of any clan. Today’s dress is a present from my Godmother who bought it from a shop in Harborough called Labels for Less. As I said I was a little but sleep deprived and in a rush to get ready I paired it with Kurt Geiger wedges and police officer displeasing pink tights.
There are days like today when I truly love my job. I am being sent to a selection event where I will join with four other women of character to choose this year’s carnival queen. I am still a little sulky about the fact that I was not allowed to throw my hat into the race but considering the average age of the candidate is ten years younger than myself I may well have left it a little late in life to apply.
There are seven girls from whom we have to choose and though this is an all too common phrase in such contests, the competition between them all is close. We come up with some pretty tough questions about their views on politics, their idol and the all important desert island selection test but they all come up class. There is one 13-year-old who is so eloquent she fills me with hope for all those compelled to end every sentence with “like” or “you know what I mean”. When asked who her idol would be she states Rosa Parkes and has good reason for doing so. There are girls who want to teach abroad, to study law and to perform and they are all active in the community.
Young people often get a bad deal in the press and in all honesty I often find myself frustrated by gaggling gangs of girls shrieking on buses. These girls though give you hope, they are truly little women. They are firm in their opinions and they seem to know both who they are now and who they want to be. When I was 13 I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and was too busy chasing boys and falling in crush to think too much about it. The only difficulty of the evening is their insistence on wearing leggings but I guess they are young and I can only hope such choices are a phase. There is the occasional Ugg but being the professional judge I force myself not to let my prejudices affect my decision making and force myself not to give them fashion advice for their future.
It is great fun trying to decide which of these girls will be best suited to represent our town through the year and though I feel sad we can not give the crown to each of them there is only one tiara. The two girls we pick I am sure are capable. They are both confident and caring and I am sure they will do their best throughout the year to do well by the town. I feel bad for the girls who are not chosen but one of the town’s jewellers has given charm bracelets for the runners up and I hope the sparkle of the silver will go some way to ease their disappointment.
- Today’s dress is on loan from my good friend Kat Ingham. It is from George and is a bit gorgeous. My mother says it is her favourite dress so far which is high praise indeed. Though I hate to admit it I was a little bit worried about the evening as the judges all have to be photographed and I didn’t want to appear in my own paper looking rough. I made a lot more effort with my make up than usual and use my Chanel powder for the first time in months, a special occasion product indeed. Looking in the mirror I remember what it was like to be 13, a time when make up was for fun not for function. I remember sticking stars to my eyelids, coating my lips in cherry tinted lip-balm and trying to learn how to apply just the right amount of blush not to look like I had spent the morning on a marathon rush. I miss my teen skin but at least these days I have the luxury of using Mac rather than Rimmel.
Today has been a sad day for footwear. Back when I was a a 23-year-old with the world at my feet and a job as an events manager which paid a tidy little sum my main outgoing other than restaurant bills and bar tabs was shoes, I was obsessed with them. For the first time in my life since I was 18 I was totally debt free. Out of my monthly salary after all bills were paid I still had an indecent amount left over to spend on myself. Though I smoked and had a fondness for Marks & Spencer sushi and sausage and onion cobs every Friday when I was too hangover to use the phone, I had no children, no mortgage and no monthly car insurance or pension payments. I was young, free, practically single and absolutely loving the independence of it all.
The boy was living a hand to mouth existence as he was still studying for his music degree but I was free to fund our outings and as one of the girlfriend of Manchester’s hardest working band I got to play the part nearly every weekend; we would all hangout backstage drinking down the riders, dragging on rolled up cigarettes and generally just hanging out feeling ever so slightly like the cool kids.
At the time I guess I knew the life we were living would not last forever. I was having a hell of a good time but work was taking its toll on my health and I’d dropped down to my smallest size since I’d had a minor eating disorder back when I was 18. I remember looking at my bank statement and feeling sad at how little I had to show for all the brilliant nights out and evenings just spent drinking red wine round a rickety table listening to music and playing cards in between musing upon our dreams for the future.
Other than Sylvanian Families I had never really felt the desire to collect anything. My sisters had their key-rings, their badges and even at one stage their dice and my brother had the monopoly on every phase and craze out there including Thomas The Tank Engines, Thunderbirds, Power Rangers and even at one stage care bears which was extraordinarily cute. It was when I realised I was spending much of my money on momentary pleasure products that I decided to start a collection and as I had no particular interest at the time in tea cups I decided I would collect shoes. As my regular readers know I am a slave to Kurt Geiger. The shoes they make are so well balanced you can stamp around in a pair of stilettos for sixteen hours straight without feeling an ache. They are creative, original and considering how well they last lusciously priced.
This then brings us to today’s dilemma. There is a man in Market Harborough, his name is Andy but I have always known him as the saviour of shoes. Many times I have brought him a forlorn pair at the end of their life and he has carefully restored them to beauty. One time he managed to restore my red or dead spike heeled stiletto ankle boots to spanking brand new in spite of me having ground the five inch heel to a mere three inches after a weekend in Liverpool visiting a friend where we danced till we dropped to sleep in his dorm just before dawn. Today Andy very kindly explained to me there was sadly nothing he could do for two of my favourite pairs.
One of them was the first pair of pricey shoes I had ever purchased. Brought in my lunch break from Berties at Kendall they were soft white leather with five inch thick wooden heels. Generally I believe white shoes should be saved till ones wedding day and even then they should be hidden and if possible cream but these were divine. Unfortunately as I tend to run in heels as well as walk whilst racing to get the bus back to see the boy after an after work drink my heel snapped on Deansgate. It was humiliating and I actually sat down and cried. I hadn’t even had any hooch but I was just so sad for my poor innocent shoe. Andy said it could be saved in an expensive operation but the job would have to be sourced out and the operators may well break the wood in the process.
The other pair are of the Kurt Geiger variety. I bought them foolishly after getting made redundant from Webb PR a month before Christmas. I was a little heart broken about losing the job and in a fine example of someone who had temporarily given leave to their senses and indeed their financial situation I sneaked away on a Christmas shopping trip with the boy, and bought three pairs of shoes in the sale. Admittedly they should have cost £400 and came to just £120 but still I had just been made redundant and with no job on the horizon it was a foolish mistake. I guess I have never regretted it because today, 15 months after the fact, I still have the shoes and they are still stunning. Unfortunately one of them, a pair of mustard yellow t-bar three inch heels was mortally injured back in May. I was chasing a story at the time and as I tore down the road the pin snapped and I had to traipse around on tippy toes the rest of the day. Andy says there is no hope for them and though I know I should consign them to the bin they are just too lovely, perhaps at some time in the future there will be better technology for such injured shoes? I live in hope.
- Today’s dress is from the wonderful Rebecca Allison. She sent this in a lovely package from the states and as well as a pair of earrings there was a beautifully written letter. I realise the dress comes up a little short on me but I hope you will not take too much of a hump at me modifying it for the workplace by pairing it with the skin tight Lycra number from Zara sent by the lovely Clara, believe me it is to protect your eyes from a legging lovely sight. Again if you do get the chance take a little look at her website. It is a fabulous way to start ones day and has given me goosebumps in the past with the sheer poetry of her posts. http://solsticetosolsticetosolstice.tumblr.com/
At half five this afternoon I was feeling a little sorry for myself. I am already missing the boy and wanted nothing more from this evening than to curl up upon his chest and have a nice cuddle whilst having a chat about our day. Alas, we are once again in a long distance relationship and it will be the end of the week before I get my wish. Feeling a little fed up I had just about resigned myself to another evening attempting to counter the curse of writers block when I got a phone call from downstairs telling me a Ms Kenny was there to see me.
I had completely forgotten that I was meant to be meeting my friend for a cup of tea after work and feeling rather relieved that the choice of whether or not to work late had been removed from my hands I hurried downstairs to greet my friend. When I got to the door I was delighted to see she was joined by another of my great girlfriends and being the emotional wreck that I am at the minute I nearly burst into tears when I saw them both. I had mentioned to them that I was having a tough time and being the lovely ladies that they are they had turned up with flowers and friendship aplenty.
Good girlfriends are worth their weight in gold and these two are of a kind which one would never trade in. As well as bringing me pretty flowers to make my desk more effeminate they also gave me a card with a sweet little message inside about how proud they were of me for following my dream. We spent a couple of hours gassing away about the latest gossip and generally just putting the world to rights. Even though I was feeling glum they managed to make me giggle and by the time we left for home I had forgotten all about my troubles.
Though being apart from the boy is going to be tough being based in the borough does mean there will be more wonderful moments like this. When I was travelling back and forth between Manchester and the Midlands I was always missing out on girly get togethers and it’s so nice to now have our little gang back together again. One of the greatest things about our friendship at the moment for me is that I am actually honest with them about how I am doing. In the past I would always hide away when I was down as I was too embarrassed to tell them if I was having a dark day, week or even month. They are brilliant friends because they do not back away when I am low, they keep in touch and try their best to find a way to drag me out of my melancholy mood. I am a lucky girl indeed to have friends as good as these.
- Today’s dress is on loan from my sister. It is from Florence and Fred/ Tesco and I am a little bit in love with it as it makes me feel like a forties femme fatale. The photos taken by my mother were base attempts to show off the flowers from my friends, my mother’s herb garden and the earrings sent to me by a wonderful woman from the states who writes a daily blog about the rising sun. Sometimes there is just a description of the colours but every post is pure poetry and for those wanting a break from my verbosity will love her more succinct style. http://solsticetosolsticetosolstice.tumblr.com/
Last night after having a major panic about my ability to write I decided to focus on the superficial as at least it was something I might hope to change in the few hours that remained before my first day. First impressions as they say are vital and although they saw me before tomorrow is still my first proper day so I am keen to look the part. After debating with my mother over the merits of various nail polishes; dark blue was deemed too different, ruby-red too lady of the night; I decided to go with bubble pink as though it was originally dismissed for the brain-dead Barbie girl connotations once it was on it looked quite nice really.
My hair which has been allowed to do its own thing for the past few months was straightened mercilessly. I love letting my hair free to flow but there is something a lot more together looking about styled hair so I tamed the crazy curls and teased out all sign of rebellion from my locks. After moisturising and using some strange cream which claimed to get rid of wrinkles I went to bed confident I could wake in the morning with no cosmetic concern at the very least and having reversed the ageing process completely at best.
Unfortunately I had neglected to consider the dress situation. As we got in late last night I only had a chance to have a quick look through the pile of dresses I have been sent from the lovely Hannah Cantrell. This girl has gathered dresses from friends and neighbours for the project and sent them all over in a box as soon as she heard supplies were at a low. As my mother had already taken a look over it and described them on the phone I was confident there would be several suitable for work and besides as far as I could remember I had put aside a dress for my first day anyway.
It turned out I had but had forgotten to try it on. The dress which was sent to me by a wonderful fashionable friend turned out to be a little on the tight side. It was red and spotty, quirky but quite conservative enough, unfortunately it was also impossible to get over my ridiculous coat hanger shoulders. I did attempt to slip into it but only managed to get myself trapped within the folds of the fabric. Thankfully my mother was on hand to pull me free but there were a few frantic moments where we were both convinced I would be trapped in there forever.
I turned in a panic to the box of dresses but by this time the clock was ticking and my usual knack for turning a t-shirt into a dress had escaped me. As my regular readers will know I am not one to shy away from a short skirt but I was very aware of the necessity of not looking like a loose woman on my first day. Hemlines on the majority of the dresses were deemed to be too short and the ones which were long enough were more suitable for summer. There are some brilliant ones which will be perfect for the office but needed a nude coloured slip to go under them to avoid further frock fumbles as seen on day 81. Panic was settling in and just as I turned to slacks one dress caught my eye. Though it had a crazy colourful paint splash print when I saw it the previous evening I had been rather taken with it and though I tried it on as a last resort it actually looked quite wonderful and with its conservative cut and cute little belt we had finally found a frock suitable for my first day in the office.
Though usually I would not have bothered with the extras I was still conscious of going in looking too conspicuous and with a mind to the men I would be working with who were wearing smart suits when I last saw them I pulled on a grey jumper and a purple suit jacket. I love my mother so much, I do not know how I would have ever got through the dress crisis without her and once that drama was over with the rest of the day just seemed somehow more manageable.
- Today’s dress was sent by the lovely Hannah Cantrell who was my neighbour back when I was a baba. Her mother told her about the project after seeing the article in the Harborough Mail and she has been incredibly supportive since. She sourced dresses from all over the place and has sent over a dozen so far which I can not wait to showcase at weekends, in the summer and, once I am clear on the office hemlines policy, during the working week. Hannah has approached celebrities such as Daisy Lowe on my behalf in an attempt to get hold of more dresses and has promoted the blog to many more. The jumper is by Coast and is silk and incredibly soft wool it feels lovely on my skin and is suprisingly comforting. The jacket is from Primark, gifted to me by my Mum’s friend and though the buttons have fallen off the velvety feel makes it feel more riches than rags.