Unhelpful Thoughts

So, as we’ve covered already, I haven’t been feeling too braw. I gave the British method of combatting everything with a stiff upper lip and steadfast denial a go, but when that failed to make me feel even a little bit better, I decided that maybe I should go get some help. So, for the past three weeks, I’ve been taking part in an online course designed to help you identify and combat unhelpful thoughts and behaviours.

As it turns out, I have quite a lot of those.

So, in the interest of science and mental health, here is a list of unhelpful thoughts that I have pretty much every single day.

  • “If my life was a horror movie, this is totally where I’d be murdered.”
  • “Is that man looking at me weird because he can hear my thoughts and is appalled by my weirdness?” *Screams inside head and watches for a reaction*
  • “Is my rabbit really fulfilled?”

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  • “Can I put peanut butter on that?”
  • “I wonder if I should quit my job and go audition for Frozen on Broadway.”
  • “Maybe I should go blonde.”
  • “Maybe I should cut my hair short.”

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  • “Maybe I should get a tattoo.”
  • “I like my new Facebook cover photo, but does it really say enough about who I am as a person?”
  • “Imagine there was an axe-murderer behind this door/in my wardrobe/behind the shower curtain/standing at my window/under my bed.”
  • “I’d probably make a pretty awesome spy.”
  • “Why does Phil make Hercules bulk up when he’s already super strong?”

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  • “Maybe I should take a nap.”
  • “It’s been a while since I encountered an enormous, terrifying spider. That’ll probably happen soon.”
  • “Maybe if I buy new stationery, my life will improve.”
  • “Maybe if I buy a blazer, I’ll become the type sophisticated girl who wears blazers.”
  • “I am so funny. I wonder if anyone would pay me just for being this hilarious.”
  • “Maybe Pinterest has the answer.”
  • “This situation will be better if I paint my nails again.”

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With all this junk floating around my brain, it’s no wonder I’m not functioning properly. Although the junk isn’t really a recent thing. Maybe I’ve always been a little bit crazy.

In all seriousness, the course I’m taking has been super-helpful so far and it’s free, so if anyone else is feeling low, check it out here.

5 Things That Got Me Through This Week

Man, February sucks, doesn’t it? Can anyone remember the last time it wasn’t raining/blowing a gale? I literally got blown into the road this week. In the rain. While it was dark. Worst.

But despite the rain and the cold and the overall feeling of crappiness, here I am, having survived a whole week of February. Here’s what got me through.

Having the greatest family in the history of the world.

Sorry that my family are better than yours.

Sorry that my family are better than yours.

My family are a group of bonafide complete nutters, the calibre of which I am an excellent example. They’re also probably the most wonderful collection of people who have ever lived. My mum, my dad, Sophie, Kiera, my granny, Sophie, the very un-wicked stepparents, my vast collection of aunts and uncles, Sophie, I will never be able to express how much I owe to you guys. Seriously, you are the cheese to my macaroni, the custard in my doughnut, the icing on my cake (I really like food, ok?).

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This video of a dog on a tricycle

This one comes courtesy of my favourite account on Instagram. If you like dogs, awesome photographs and things that are generally excellent, do yourself a favour and click here. I cannot stop watching this video, and it has gotten no less funny since the first time.

Scotland legalising gay marriage – or as it will now be known, “marriage”

Image: Larry Lamont and Jerry Slater take part in a symbolic same-sex marriage outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh

It’s pretty tough to feel gloomy when your country takes a big epic step towards equal rights for all. A most excellent job, Scotland! And let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to see these two dapper gents organise a wedding?

Creme Eggs coming back

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This Tuesday, I was having a particularly crappy day. I hate Tuesdays almost as much as I hate February, so it was never going to be great. And then the boy comes through the door with a three pack of Creme Eggs. I could have kissed him.

*Spoilers* I did.

Reading every beauty article this woman has ever written

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This is Alle. She writes for XoVain. I love her. She is lovely, and Australian, and really outstanding at applying eye makeup. She also has a great dog, which she shows off over on Instagram. Reading beauty articles and Insta-stalking someone may not seem like the most productive use of time, but whatevs, it totally makes me feel better. It’s like meditation, but it also makes me awesome at applying lipstick.

Forget the January blues, they’re so last month! Now, to get through the next three weeks.

Coming Out Of The Closet

Save your congratulations, folks, the title of this post probably doesn’t mean what you think it means.

A few months ago, I watched an amazing talk by Ash Beckham on coming out of the closet. If you haven’t seen this talk, go watch it right now. Seriously, there is nothing I am going to say in this post that will be as awesome as that talk is (Yes, that’s a link to Upworthy. Deal with it. I like Upworthy and their manipulative, cheery headlines).

She talks about the experience of coming out of the closet, and how for her, that experience was about revealing to people that she was gay. But she goes on to say that it’s not only gay people who experience being in the closet. Everyone has their own personal closet, and they should get the hell out, because a closet is no place for a person to be living.

I felt sort of angry and upset at this assertion, because I most certainly was not in the closet about anything. How dare anyone suggest that I had anything to hide.
*Spoilers* I was definitely in the closet.

An artist's impression of my very mature response.

An artist’s impression of my very mature response.

As I would imagine is the case with a lot of people in the closet, I was afraid to admit what I was feeling because I was terrified of messing with people’s perception of me, and with my perception of myself. See, for all my endearing self-deprecation (was that an oxymoron?), I am kind of addicted to this image of myself as A Success™. A long time ago, somebody told me that the best revenge on your bullies is to live well. I took that advice and ran with it. So when I found myself graduating with a degree from the University of Edinburgh, Dream Job already landed, I was feeling pretty chuffed. Except there was one tiny snag. Within a couple of months, I was miserable. But I reasoned that as long as nobody knew I was miserable, it would be okay. As long as I could keep pretending that everything was alright, I’d still be A Success™.

Some of you may point out that being utterly miserable is not really living well. To that I say, excellent point, reader! I will now pretend that I didn’t hear it.

After a few months of feeling like my soul was being stomped on by an angry toddler, I begrudgingly accepted that something probably wasn’t right and I should maybe talk to someone about it. So, two nights ago, I did the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my whole entire life. I talked to my dad.

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I planned what I was going to say for two days in advance, rehearsing scenarios in my head, imagining him casting me out onto the pavement upon the revelation that I was not the Success™ I had been portraying myself as. Because my dad is apparently the villain in a Thomas Hardy novel and I am an idiot.

Of all the things I’ve ever faced in my life, opening up and saying to someone “I am really struggling, I think I need your help” is by far the scariest. Or it would have been if I actually said that. In reality, I just wailed a bit, but he got the message okay.

And of course, it turns out that my dad couldn’t really give two shits about whether I’m A Success™ or not, beyond whether it makes me happy. We talked for hours, and for maybe the first time ever, I was completely honest with him. I wasn’t trying to be the me I thought he wanted me to be, and by the end of the conversation, I felt about a bazillion pounds lighter. Honestly, I don’t know why I didn’t just talk to him months ago.

Oh, just my dad being a boss.

Oh, just my dad being a boss.

Because *GLARINGLY OBVIOUS CONCLUSION KLAXON*, it turns out that the people who really love you will always love you, even if you turn out to be something different than what they were expecting. In being afraid to shatter people’s image of me, I ended up shutting myself away from them and hoping no one would notice.

This approach, to put it bluntly, is utter bollocks.

I’m not saying that talking about how I was feeling fixed it. I still feel like I want to do nothing but crawl under my duvet and watch Legally Blonde on a loop for the rest of my life. But the thing about closets is that they’re really tiny. It’s tough to get comfy in a closet. I might not be happy (yet), but at least I have some space to breathe. And I’m really glad to be out.