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[2017: 44] Boxing, Cake Fails and Friday Favourites

The Week With The

I ended up watching the boxing last weekend and it really surprised me. Or maybe I surprised myself: I actually enjoyed it. I felt awful because, jeez, it looks painful but also it's...exciting? I feel kinda bad for enjoying it. 

...baby names. 
We were given two baby name books this week, so promptly set about creating a short list. The 'short' list had 22 names on it, and we've now managed to get it down to 10. So that's...progress? This baby had better make it to full term because there are a lot of name debates to fit in over the next few weeks.

Easy Vegan Cupcakes

...cupcake disaster.

Reclaiming Mental Health Self-Care #BoringSelfCareNov

'Why don't you go on a spa weekend?'

This, friends, is some of the worst 'self-care' advice I've ever been given. Having spent an hour talking to a CPN from the home treatment team, that was her solution to my crippling anxiety and depression. Yes, I had just explained to her that I could barely leave the sofa. Yes, I was ill enough to need regular home visits. Yes, she was meant to be experienced at dealing with people in crisis.

And, often, this is what people associate with mental health self-care: spa weekends, scented candles, manicures and blow dries. It's a big business and, I get it, if you function extremely well and are a bit stressed those things are probably helpful. They're also, let's face it, the parts of self-care that are easily monetised by content creators.

Mental Health Self Care

However, those suggestions are not remotely helpful when you're struggling to even have a shower.

[2017: 43] Christmas, Hospitals and Friday Favourites

My Week

...Christmas prep!
It has begun: I downloaded my Christmas playlist, I made Christmas cakes, I read a couple of Christmas magazines. I also signed up for Janet's Thrifty Gift Swap and Char's Blogger Secret Santa (you've got until 1st and 6th November respectively if you want to join in). I get why some people hate the whole 'starting Christmas in October' phenomenon but, as a Christmas mega fan, for me it's never too early.

...lack of sleep. 
Between the occasional hip pain, overactive mind, persistent cold and the fact that turning over in bed is a five stage operation, sleep has become somewhat elusive. If anyone tells me to 'sleep before the baby comes' I'll probably hit them. Or I would if I had the energy.

14 Surprising Things About Pregnancy

Surprising Things About Pregnancy

Self-improvement is non-existent.
Pregnancy's a nine (well, eight) month warning to become a proper adult, right? Wrong. It's eight months of trying desperately to not regress too much.

It feels like a process. 
I was expecting a binary pregnant/not pregnant feeling, whereas in reality it's been way more tentative than that for me. Maybe it was the fact that we'd experienced an early miscarriage, or maybe I'm just great at catastrophising, but it's never felt like a given that I will actually get a living, breathing baby at the end of this pregnancy. I might start to believe it one day, but until then I'll obsessively googling/trying to feel grateful for each day of pregnancy.

Baby brain is real.
I was dubious about this one. Forgetfulness caused by lack of sleep, sure that makes sense, but by pregnancy itself? I just couldn't see it happening. But yeah, it's real. This is no brain fog, this is a complete mental blank. Example: this morning I went to leave the house, realised I'd left my phone upstairs, went back for it, realised my phone was in my pocket and that I was listening to music on it. See also: going to post a parcel and not taking the parcel; initiating an accidental factory reset on my phone.

Toy Windmill

In Defence of Trigger Warnings

[Note: this is a general discussion about trigger/content warnings and doesn't cover any specific topics/triggers, although the linked articles do]

Attacking trigger warnings is easy. It's easy to laugh at 'special snowflakes' and the notion that someone might be upset by something in a play. It's easy to assert that we need to be endlessly exposed to the horrors of the world, that it will make us better people somehow.

This entirely misses the point. The people who need the trigger warnings aren't people who aren't aware of nasty truths, they're the people who are all too aware of them. The people who've lived through them, who haven't had the support they need to process this trauma, and who could do without being sent into a dangerous downward spiral.

I have, and sometimes still do, need trigger warnings. I have been 'triggered' by content online, on TV, on the radio (and, yes, in plays) that has led me to put myself in real, physical danger. I've watched TV dramas that have taken an unexpected turn and left me reliving the most traumatic experience of my life over and over again for weeks.

When I've been particularly vulnerable or unsupported (and let's face it, many people reliant on NHS mental health services are unsupported) these triggers have led to me having days off work, to dangerous behaviours and to obsessive thought patterns that make functioning a near impossibility.

This isn't about preventing naive people feeling a bit sad about the world. It's about trying to help people who are fighting just to stay afloat. People who are trying to drag themselves through the day without getting sucked into a downward spiral that could kill them.

If you really can't empathise with that feeling - well, I'm jealous of you, you've had a relatively lucky life, or maybe an incredibly consistent and robust support network. Not everyone has had the same luck.

Some people need a bit of extra protection and if all it costs you is a bit of exasperation, maybe that's not too big a price to quietly pay.

20.10.17: Adulting?

I often feel like my life is one big audition for the part of 'functioning adult'. I am yet to be offered the part.

Today I actually managed a couple of adult things: I called the DVLA to find out why they hadn't sent me a paper counterpart licence, I did a refresher driving lesson and I cleaned quite a lot of the house. Pretty adult right? Except part of me knows that, really, a proper adult would have realised that paper counterparts aren't issued anymore, and she would have driven regularly after passing her test, thus negating the need for the refresher lessons, and she would have bought the cleaning products without getting any pick and mix.

Oh well. Baby steps are better than no steps, right? Anyway surely the whole point of being an adult is that you can eat pick and mix whenever you want? Otherwise I want no part in this adulting game.