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Easy Ways To Make Your Life Easier

6 December 2016 | Post A Comment

Stop making excuses

Care less about what others think of you

Be kinder than is necessary

Have a routine

Do more of what makes you happy

Spend less time on social media

Delete your social media

Remove negative people from your life

Eat what you want to eat

Quit complaining

Listen to more music

Take up hibernation 

Talk about ideas, not people 

Learn to accept yourself and your problems

Don't spend all your money

Get help

Sleep more

Keep things simple

Medication

4 December 2016 | Post A Comment

For the past couple of months I have been on Mirtazipine, a class of anti-depressant helpfully labelled as 'other'. If you have read this post, you will know why the doctors thought I'd be better off staying away from SSRI's, the most common form of anti-deppressant. I can tell you how SSRI's work, but I couldn't tell you how Mirtazipine works. A quick look on 'drugs.com' says "the way this medication works is still not fully understood", a deeper look into it on google makes me feel incredibly dizzy and anxious. It seems to mess around with all sorts of chemical reactions that are going on in my brain that I'd rather not know about, especially as no one else seems to understand what they're doing either. 

The first couple of weeks were awful. I nearly used the word 'horrific' but I'll leave that as the word to describe my experience on Citalopram. The first weeks on Mirtazipine were not quite as bad as that. I did end up having to go to hospital after blacking out in the shower with horrific stomach pains and had fainting and dizzy episodes for weeks after. I have felt sick almost constantly since I started taking them, which is only starting to get better now and I have had a general feeling of drowsiness and lethargy which rarely lifts. I've had blisters on my tongue and have experienced significant weight gain and a ridiculously high appetite. I have to time when I take my tablets well as I am effectively 'knocked out' about an hour after taking them for around 12 hours. Yes, I sleep well, but it's a horrible feeling of loss of control. And I have to constantly plan my mornings and evenings around them.

I hate taking them. They make me feel ill and they cast a foggy haze over my entire life. I have decided to come off them.

This is easier said than done. 

I have been reducing them for around 3 weeks now. At first I felt so bad all I could do was stay in bed, feeling utterly depressed. I couldn't engage in life at all. This makes me want to come off them more. I don't think I should be on anything that can make me feel this bad. 

My mind is beginning to feel 'lighter' and I am enjoying depending less on medication. But I know that by coming off the medication, symptoms of depression and other difficulties will be harder to deal with. 

I can continue with the medication and put up with the negative side effects or try again at a life without them.

I really don't know which I would hate least. And that's sad.

Writing

2 December 2016 | Post A Comment

One of my favourite aspects about relaunching All Things Beautiful has been rediscovering my love of writing. School nearly ruined it for me. I remember writing exams were completely focused on writing to a formula. Creativity and passion were forgotten about and even discouraged if you wanted to score well. 

I feel like a real passion for writing is hard to come by. And the education system has made it that way. I used to read a massive number of blogs daily. This has now gone down to just a couple as I get so frustrated by the carelessness of the writing. I no longer want to waste my time reading words that contain no life or soul.

With this relaunch I didn't want my writing to go unnoticed. I want it to be a priority, I want it to get noticed, I want it to matter. 

Writing is a form of communication. We can use words to motivate, heal and empower. We can use words to tell stories. The words we choose and the order we leave them on the page is our power. We can all learn how to enhance this power, how to make it more effective. I now want to dedicate as much time as I can to writing and expressing what I want to say in the most effecting way possible.

I've put together some tips for how I write. They are just advice from what I personally do and some of them are geared more towards writing for an audience. Break them all if you want, that's the fun of it. 

1. Write without thinking, let your thoughts spill out onto a page. This is your beautifully imperfect first draft. Now go back and edit, edit, edit. 

2. Re-write every sentence until you cannot find any further faults.

3. Read your writing out loud.

4. When you don't know what to write, just write exactly what you feel.

5. Write what you need to write. 

6. Write what you need to read.

7. Take it seriously, but not too seriously.

8. Write in different styles, tenses and formats to different effects. (For example, I wanted to address my alcoholism in a post but didn't know the best way to do it. So I wrote it in the form of a letter, addressed to alcohol. Read it here. I also used present tense to write a post about what a 'good day' looks like for me here.)

9. Replace multiple words with one word that says the same thing.

10. Write controversially, break rules.

11. Think about what you are trying to say, then say that. 

12. Use a thesaurus constantly. Every time you go to use the 'very' or 'really', lookup the word that follows and use a stronger synonym for that instead when it is more effective. 

13. Read a lot.

14. People are lazy. Don't make them read long sentences or paragraphs- because they won't.

15. Get rid of words that you don't need. 

16. Avoid repetition, unless it is for effect (I love using intentional repetition)

17. Exploit negative space. Write short sentences, write short paragraphs to emphasise points. 

18. Think hard about how you end your post, this is what will be remembered. 

19. Do things differently. Finish a list on 19.

My Aims, Distressing Content, And Stigma

30 November 2016 | Post A Comment

My mental health hasn't been that great the past couple of weeks and this is reflected in the content of my blog. When my mind is in a darker place, my content is going to go there too. 

This is because my main priority for All Things Beautiful is for it to be an authentic insight into mental health. With any work I put into this blog, honesty is at the very front of my mind and this is incredibly important to me. My second aim is to help people. I feel I can do this through my blog in a number of ways. I can provide comfort and hope that things can get better and I can give people an insight and understanding into mental health so they can either understand themselves better or better understand others, or both. 

My first priority can sometimes conflict with my second. I don't want my blog to become a depression blog. I don't want my loyal readers to read a new post every other day about how terrible I am feeling again. To make reading my ramblings worth your time, you need value. And insight is value, education is value. But so is hope and comfort. I think the second part of my aims for the site is sometimes being neglected with my focus on the first. Sometimes my being honest and open can be somewhat distressing or upsetting. 

When I write, I write from the deepest part of my being and I want the reader to be effected. 
If you are effected by my writing, I believe I am doing something right. But there needs to be balance, I don't want to just effect you with negativity. I want to make a difference to how you see the world and others in it.

Some days I wake up and I can feel my thoughts are in a better place and I can put all my effort into writing more uplifting posts like this one and this one and this one. They are among the posts I am most proud of.

I often get comments on how brave I am for sharing what I share on my blog. Exposing the depths of my mind to the internet does sometimes feel scary. But being in the depths of my mind is scarier. And by sharing I might help others, and I might help myself. And I have nothing to hide, I am not embarrassed by my mental health. I am actively trying to fight stigma. I think it is this attitude that has the power to beat it.

I wrote this post as an extension of what I discussed in last weeks newsletter but I thought it was important for my wider readership to understand too. If you would like a wider understanding of what goes into my blog it would be great if you could sign up below. I also include motivational challenges and quotes and I hope it's an email you will look forward to receiving every Sunday. 

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