Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Stop my brain, I want to get off; RIP Robin Williams. You will be missed.

Today our internet is filled with the very sad news about an awesomely talented man. Robin Williams left us yesterday for good and it has well and truly knocked me for six.

I am of a generation who grew up on this man. Mrs Doubtfire, Jumanji, Hook and Aladdin were regularly played on loop in our house and Marmie decided he was good enough of an influence on us, so she had this tendency of buying pretty much any film he was in, some good, some... interesting... (Toys and Jack were particularly special, I would say). As I hit my teens, he continued to be one of my favourite actors, three of his films in particular spoke to me and even, to a point, influenced my life in certain ways. Good Will Hunting was my favourite film for many years, Patch Adams gave me my first inspiration for a career, and What Dreams May Come spoke to me as I reached a point where sadness and depression had begun to creep into my life.

To this day, my all time favourite film is Hook. I can't fault a single thing about it. When I look back on his body of work, it really does surprise me how much his performances, whether serious or silly, had had a major effect on my life at different points.

Reading through my feed on facebook this morning, it's amazing to see how many people also feel the same way about this man. There is so much love for a man who brought so much joy to our childhoods and life in general. He was funny and inspirational and performed excellently in both types of roles. There's no doubt about it; this world loved him. Which is what makes the way he died all that more devastating.

I've been thinking this morning about whether, if he had been aware of just how much people loved him, he would have ended his life the way he had. I have no clue and I'm not even going to try to guess, it's not my place. However, even he had known, if he had received regular affirmation of this every day, because of the way depression works in a person, it can act as a block between positive words and the happiness they should make you feel.

I didn't know he was suffering. I didn't really look into his personal life all that much, apparently he suffered from substance misuse which I also didn't know until today, even though he was quite vocal about it. But I know that people are shocked at the level in which he could appear to be happy and bring joy to others, although all the time suffering from depression.

As horrible as it is, this surprises me less. It has also got me thinking about the stupid illness in general and all the other lives it has taken. I have spoken to countless people who suffer from depression and spend their entire lives working on masking it from the rest of the world. They smile, they move through life and even socialise, but they rarely talk about it because, put simply, they don't see how saying it out loud would make a blind bit of difference. Maybe they've tried talking about it before but it hadn't gone well or they are so stunned by how their own efforts don't appear to make any improvement on it, they can't see how someone else would be able to offer anything different.

Quite often, they don't want to impose. They know how crippling it feels for them and they look at others who are happy with envy. They want what these people have, but they can't access it so they only see talking about it as a way of bringing other people down. Besides, quite often depression and anxiety goes hand in hand and to talk about this inexplicable illness would only draw attention to it and make others worry, which will lead to unwanted attention on them and force them to make a bigger deal about it than they are prepared to do, so they try to put it all in a little box and contain it, because that seems the only way to control what's happening, and it might even work for a time, but eventually things go south and situations get worse and that little box starts to bulge and want to burst open. At this point, they might find that they are faced with a new problem. They now can no longer deal with how they are feeling but they have spent so much time and effort convincing others that they're fine and the life and soul of the party, no one's actually going to believe them should they come clean and say it had all been a lie, or if they do, they won't realise just how bad it's got because no one can be that sad and yet appear so happy at the same time.

The truth is, quite often the sadder some people with depression get, the louder and more outlandish they appear. The need to seem happy and well becomes the one thing to live for. There are people who are scared of coming clean about how they feel because they don't want to upset people or because they simply don't know where to begin. Maybe their brains tell them that there's no point, bad thoughts, dreams and negative influences play on loop around their heads. They can't focus on anything because their brain is so distracted by what depression brings. It builds and builds and suddenly they think that there is no other way to silence it other than one. One final decision and that's the only option they have left. They can't last one more day this way, it's too much. They've tried everything and nothing seems to work. The thought of having to live their lives this way for any longer is excruciating, so they decide to stop altogether. It will release them from it. It will stop the bad thoughts and the emotions that bog them down even though they have no reason to feel them. Death is the way out and they won't have to suffer any more.

Guys, if you feel that way, please realise that there is no illness too severe, no emotion too big that means death is the only option. Sure, it will stop you from feeling any more negative feelings, but it will also stop everything else. You have no clue what your future holds for you, things could change at any moment and, with a little help, you can find release another way, a way that not only stops the sadness, but also shows you the other side of the coin.

I say this because I speak from experience. 12 years of depression and I never thought I would find a way out. I got dangerously close to giving up but somehow got nudged into getting help instead. I did CBT therapy and last year I came out the other side. I never thought I would know what it was to live my life without depression, but I have for a whole year. Please, please, please always choose help over dealing with this alone. People around you love you and care about you and want to help you. You have potential for great things in your future and you don't want to miss out on it.

The very nature of depression is all consuming and tells you that you won't ever recover. As with most mental illnesses, it stops you from being able to think about it rationally because it's the brain that is the infected part. No matter how many times you might think it, don't believe it. Believe that you deserve more than that, because you do. If you're suffering, find someone today and tell them. Contact help from the Samaritans possibly (08457 90 90 90) if in the UK, or alternatives in your country if elsewhere. Please don't ever think ending your life is the answer, because it never is, no matter how tempting it might sound.

Also, if you know of someone who is depressed, please remember that patience is needed with them. Chances are they know how little sense their emotions make as much as you do, it doesn't make it any less easier to solve. It's not going to be fixed in one day, it's going to take time.

Depression might not be something that you are able to control if you have it, but suicide is. You always have the option to say no. Please choose it, because people aren't ready to say goodbye to you yet.

I love you all deeply and wish you all the happiness in the world.

Peace out my lovelies.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

It's that magical time of the year again...

Yes ladies and gents, it's that time of the year where I have been told I need to move out of my house and into a new one... people might see this as an adventure most of the time, but I am definitely not one of them. I have a set of DVD shelves that have officially fallen apart from the sheer amount of times I've had to take them apart and put them back together again, I have boxes that haven't even been touched in my room from the last time I moved, let alone unpacked, and every sodding time I have to sign up to anything that requires addresses, I have to ask for extra paper because I can't fit all the addresses I've lived in, in the past 5 years...

Yup, this will be my 5th house in 4 years and my 13th house in 28 years. I am getting to a point where even the thought of having a house for 2 whole years is so out of this world, I can't even fathom it in my imagination... and this is coming from a gal who frequently gets told that her imagination is stupidly over the top and spends most of her life being dominated by it... yes, I believe that one day I will write the world's most perfect TV script with Joss Whedon, and another with the Moffat/Gatiss team, as well as making my way to Rowling levels of popularity with my books, but I cannot, for the life of me, work out what it would be like to stay living in one place for longer than 13 months... Something will happen and something will change and then on I will have to go to the next place to live, and so on and so forth until I become a travelling nomad who had no intention of doing this on purpose so therefore is permanently pissed off at the notion that I have to do this once again whilst grumbling about the costs of deposits and rent and how it's near impossible to start saving for a future of babies and settling down, no matter how much I actually want to... then people will stop talking to me because I only seem to communicate in muffled groans and sudden outbursts of "why me?" or "who's taking all my money?" before quietening down again and retreating back to my fully packed house which has been that way since I moved in because, let's face it, what's the point in unpacking anymore?

Good news is it is doing wonders for my figure. My appetite is almost non existent now! Don't worry, I am eating, though. No need to call any rehab centres for me yet.

So I've not written in this thing this week yet as my usual routine of 'lunchtime writing' has been taken over my 'lunchtime hunting for houses'. I've applied to a few sites where you look for houseshares as well as put your own ad up for people to look for you for their house. This has been a fairly useful experience and I've had a few decent offers... there was one however that was slightly interesting... I was offered a hotel room Monday to Friday for no charge whatsoever, only the joy of giving this man my company... is it wrong that my gut reaction was "but where would I stay at the weekend?" before realising that this was probably not the best option in the world and one might even associate it with 'whoring myself out for rent'. Marmie and Father, if you are reading this, I haven't responded and am 99.9% almost certain I won't, don't worry... although free rent...

But aside from that offer, I do have a viewing tonight with a place that prefer to do it the old fashioned way in paying rent and bills for a house. I know it's boring, but I'm probably going to use that method instead... it just feels less prostitutey. My main plan is to find a place closer to work, which means leaving the only area of London I have ever lived in... goodbye North London, hello West London... it doesn't really help however that I work in a particularly posh area of London that does everything fancy and has prices to match that. Therefore I'm having to be a little inventive in my search for the ideal affordable place, but I'm quietly confident... most of the time... when I'm not rocking backwards and forwards, pulling out clumps of hair whenever I think about the sheer amount of work involved in moving properties once again.

Oh dear. Guys I need you to wish me all the luck in the world... seriously, luck, love, good thoughts, prayers, animal sacrifices, whatever floats your boat. I have less than a month until I am homeless... I know, de ja vu for the fifth time. I don't mean to be repetitive but life keeps on forcing me to. Stupid life.

Peace out my lovelies.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Well, that went south very quickly...

So, I happened to notice on facebook that a couple of my friends had been typing their names into the urban dictionary to see what the urban definition of their name is.

Immediately intrigued, I typed my name in to see what came up. What occurred next was a whirlwind of emotions that I wasn't quite prepared for on a Friday lunchtime activity...

I open up my Urban dictionary, type in my name and come across this:

To say that my ego was suitably stroked would be an understatement. I had no idea that in urban circles I represented such a highly admired group of people... Not to mention, I got called 'Chica!' I read this and felt resolved to make all people refer to me as chica from now on.

On reading the second description, I spent a small amount of time running through the previous Davids in my life and trying to work out if I classified them as weird or not. I couldn't really think of any but then noticed that that fitted in with the rest of the definition as these Davids probably had done nothing for me so logically I wouldn't remember them... and then I blushed because the definition called me 'luscious'... Chica and luscious are both names never mentioned to me before but I am very excited about being used in the future.

Feeling empowered, I continued on with the next definition.

Smart, sexy, great hair and great face?? How am I only just being made aware of this now? Surely, by these standards, I should be some kind of model superstar having people swoon over me whilst I am chased down by the paparazzi. It was also nice to read confirmation that I wasn't a slut. I was pretty convinced of this anyway, but sometimes you just need someone else to say it as well, you know? As far as my phone ringing and travelling states for parties... I can't say I've experienced too much of this, but I imagine it's just because I haven't told enough people my name. Once it's more well known, there will be no stopping me and my "blessed good genes."

The next definition, although still complimentary, had lost a little of its fervour:

This was the first one that had added a caveat in case there happened to be any 'non-hot' Lisas in the world. It was sensible and covered all bases, but it did lead me to wonder if I still classed as one of the hot ones...

I should have taken it and stopped there however, because what happened next... well. Aside from the contradiction in the next statements that almost made my brain explode trying to combine together with the previous definitions, I also began to feel a deep seeded despair. I mean, if it's in the urban dictionary, then it must be true:

This struck me as a pretty indecisive definition... almost like it wasn't written by an Urban professional... I could only deduce by this that I was a type of person who would piss someone off to begin with due to my lack of wanting to party (despite the fact that I travel places to party as well) but somehow win them round with my general okayness that seems to be so charming in a really non specific 'don't know her because she won't attend my parties' kind of way. It cut me a little, but again, I felt that I could accept this side of me.

But then:

... I have just one question to ask my loved ones at this moment, why on earth did no one tell me my face shared similarities to a horse? I understand if you wanted to spare my feelings, but come on! People clearly are beginning to notice and it's being advertised on the internet for all to see! For other Lisas who might be reading this, what did you do about your general horselike look? Should we accept it and wear it proudly? Is there a good plastic surgeon you can recommend that might help make us look more human? I feel like I should now be taking action on this, but I don't know where to start. Maybe we could all meet up and protest on the prejudice against Lisas who look like horses. We can't help it. We didn't name ourselves. And anyway, apparently the horse face is still hot because of the previous definitions... wow, I had no idea so many people found horses attractive... perhaps there's nothing we actually need to do, other Lisas. It would appear that we've lucked out with a rather attractive and majestic animal.

Now... the second definition in this section... as I am not yet anyone's baby mama, I assume that this is something that I will only have to look forward to in my future... I'm not going to lie, I had hoped for a little bit of a more positive lifestyle than what was outlined, but clearly I have no choice.

The next definition may include words of the swearing variety which will be a first in this blog. I do apologise, although I think the words probably offended me more than they will you... unless you are also called Lisa, and in that case, my condolences. We will get through this together.

"Don't be a Lisa". Ouch.

To all my friends and loved ones, I am so sorry for breaking your spirits so badly. To be honest, I had thought that loving you all loads and being too lazy and passive to get into any confrontation had been good things to have in relationships, but clearly I've been offending everyone... I had no idea I was such a bitch, but I'm going to start working on it. This has all been very eye opening.

People have started calling HPV that now??? Or has this been something that's been happening for years? Wait, Marmie and Father, please don't tell me that you named me after an STD?? No wonder I haven't dated a guy in years, they probably think I'm riddled!! ... I'm not, by the way... Dammit. I'm going to have to start adding that into my introductions to all new potential dates... "Hi, my name's Lisa, but don't worry! I'm one of the few that isn't carrying crabs." And even then, what's the likelihood that they'll believe me? Especially when they have such a credible source to refer to...

And then lastly:

Bad grammar aside (seriously, apart? And you write for a dictionary? Never in my life have I been so shocked) this definition I think revealed the most that I didn't know about me. For example, I was certain that I was born in Great Britain, but clearly I will need to have a chat with The-Parents at some point about that lie. Also, horses and gorillas? What kind of half breed are we? I'm no longer offended but slightly proud. As for the half naked photos... I had a quick look and found this from my brother's wedding last week:

I think this is where the confusion has come in. I feel I need to clarify things. Guys, I did not attend my brother's wedding naked (despite the fears that I might have to when I could fit into the dress). The dress was strapless, my clothes are on... I promise. I'm sorry for any inconvenience caused and I want to make perfectly clear that this photo, by no means, suggests that I would then "cheat on my boyfriend" or that I'm in any way a "big slut or bitch." Once again, sorry I should have been more clear.

Despite the promising start to this little exercise, I've definitely had better dictionary reading experiences. It's given me a lot to think about and I will have to go and do a bit of soul searching... maybe even befriend a horse or monkey as it would appear they are closer family than I thought... although technically we're all descendants of monkeys, so I'm not quite sure why the Lisas have been singled out... if it helps, I'll try to cut down on my house ransacking to let the bad reputation simmer down a little bit.

Not a Fancy Things Friday this week, but it was too good not to share. Try out yours, yourself... just have some tissues ready and prepare yourself for some pretty earth shattering truth bombs that will be coming your way...

Peace out my lovelies