I recently purchased Matt Bellassai's book (which, btw, I recommend to anyone because he is a comedic and literary genius and the book is currently my most prized possession, despite the fact the chapter about slicing his foot open made me dry heave), and within it there's a chapter on laws he would pass if he became President. Which got me thinking, what laws would I instigate if I were Prime Minister? Well, now we know.
1. Legal Requirement for every office to have dogs. Anyone allergic can enlist for benefits following an allergy test.
2. Anyone charged with animal cruelty is punished to have whatever they did to the animal done to them. We can't have them in our prisons mingling with lesser criminals, like murderers.
3. Nigel Farage has to wear an inflatable penis suit as if he is on a stag do, for every single day of his living life.
4. Four day working weeks.
5. Anyone found guilty of benefit fraud has to work 7-day weeks for the same length of time as they were committing the fraud for.
6. Chace Crawford is my deputy PM and must accompany me everywhere.
7. My blog will be distributed in paper format to every house in the country on a weekly basis.
8. No breakfast to be served without a hashbrown.
9. Salad and soup are to be considered side-plates and never a main course, because that's where they belong.
10. Anyone who does not move up the tube carriage is to be shackled at the gates and publically shamed.
11. Slow and fast pavement sides to be implemented in all cities.
12. Free Wifi everywhere.
13. Jobs nobody wants to do like garbage disposal should offer amazing benefits, like free holidays abroad.
14. Illegal to post photographs of bare pregnant bellies online, because tbh, they freak me out.
15. Anybody who says, 'tattoos are forever you know', or 'aren't you worried what they will look like when you're old?' must immediately get a tattoo.
16. Under no circumstances, ever, may any member of a charity or religious organisation knock uninvited on someone's door at the weekends.
17. Anyone who personally wrongs me (I have at least 5 of you in mind) is to be fed to wild boars whilst the song 'Rich Girl' by Gwen Stefani plays on loop in the background.
18. Someone (preferably Tom Hardy) must follow me around with salted cheesy chips on hand in case I get peckish.
19. Everyone must recycle, because whales.
20. Dogs are to be allowed in all pubs, and children under 15 banned.
21. Internships that are unpaid to last no longer than one month.
22. Ads for writers which offer 'no pay but great experience' to be sent to the dark side of the web and out of human sight. Unless it's Vogue.
23. Free coffee in all workplaces.
24. Any baby which cries for longer than 1 minute (30 seconds if it's screaming) in a confined public place (i.e. a bus, a wedding ceremony, a store queue) to be immediately removed using whatever means necessary.
25. My dog Draco's birthday is to be honoured and respected every year with a national holiday.

By all accounts this has been a solid week for me. It was only fair I update all you wonderful people on my recent activities since my last post. (Next therapy session tonight, Pray4Callie.)
I got my masters degree. For anyone who didn't know, I was doing a remote masters in Political Marketing, and my certificate came through and I passed with Merit. I was actually one mark shy of Distinction, but I failed the module on Ethics in Politics. (lol.) All in all I'm really pleased, as it was super difficult cramming it in alongside work and socialising and was done in a single year, so I'm relieved it's over!
I got a job! After turning down an offer last week I was feeling a little stressed about how long it would take me to find the right thing, but I am SO excited about my next role! I don't want to say too much before the contracts are completed and signed, but it's working for a super cool company running all of their digital editorial content, social media and marketing events in a whole new creative role. It's the dream job, and there's even an office dog, so my joke status about losing my job  and wanting a new one involving puppies sort of came to fruition. I'm so glad for trusting my gut and waiting out for the right role, this is so much better suited to my interests than my last job and the salary and benefits are so much better. I never thought I'd say it, but I'm so glad I lost my job!
I celebrated by purchasing Matt Bellassai's book because he is a God, a subscription to Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom and drinking a bottle of wine before lunch.
Lastly, I launched a new website! I've been working on this since losing my job to try and keep myself motivated, and today it went live. Jailed Spirits is an editorial hub and networking community for women working in the creative industries. It's a place to head to for career advice, motivation, inspiration, lifestyle pieces and (soon to come) loads of interviews with badass women in amazing jobs. If you would like to get involved, go check it out and get in touch. Otherwise any feedback in these early stages is appreciated, as is a cheeky Instagram follow.
After the mess with my old job I realised how important it is to empower fellow women in the workplace, and to build strong communities of wonderful ladies who have the same beliefs as me.
In other news, my mother has been messaging me about saving seals and I have never felt more in tune with her in my whole life.

Lastly, somebody thought my name was Candy last week, which was probably my low point.
How was your week?

It's 7am and I couldn't sleep again. So I'm writing this in the bath, my laptop balanced on one of those tray things that hold your wine bottle. (Perhaps not built for wine specifically but it's how I use it.) My first thought was, 'this could slip super easily and electrocute me.' My second thought was, 'I don't really care.' And that, combined with my pathetically morbid New Year Resolutions list is why I went to therapy yesterday. 

Things that did not happen in therapy:

I did not lay on a couch and gaze at the ceiling whilst I spoke
Nobody tried to hypnotize me
I did not - despite wanting to - cry
My therapist did not cry
I did not get presented with a straight-jacket
I did not feel it was money wasted
I did not see a box of tissues, hourglass or one of those metal ticker things which I sort of expected

Things that did happen in therapy:

I sweat profusely
I made several awkward jokes to try to lighten the mood
I signed a confidentiality contract so I know that my therapist won't blog about this, even if I do
When asked about my relationship, I realised that actually, it's pretty perfect
When asked about every other aspect of my life I realised it's total bullshit
I got so uncomfortable my asthma flared up so I had to take a minute to pant like a dog
I left feeling okay, and actually kind of looking forward to my next session

Baby steps, ma cherie.

Happy New Year! Hello, 2018. Hope you're less shite than 17! I spent last night with one of my best friends from Uni, her boyfriend, my boyfriend and one of my newest and most favourite friends. It started off a sophisticated affair with champers and dinner at mine, and before long we were all wretched sloppy messes walking the streets of Victoria barefoot and making BFFs with random girls on the street. (Shoutout to Gina, who now has pride of place in my contact list because it was crucial I made sure she got home safe.)

This morning was spent in a unicorn onesie throwing up in the garden because someone was in the shower and regretting every drink from the night before. This afternoon was spent in bed sweating out rum and the evening was spent lying in a pizza-coma with Steven watching our fave new thing, Freaks and Geeks. Start as you mean to go on.

So onto the serious aspect of this post.

I've tried to write a post along these lines several times, but always pussy out in case people treat me differently or pity me.  I bought a book called Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig, and it's inspired me to just be totally open and transparent with everyone, so you can follow my journey on here with a clearer understanding and maybe even help someone else to know they aren't alone.

I've had depression for a very, very long time. I think I basically fell out of the womb with a dark cloud over me. It runs in my family, and is a chemical imbalance - there's no rhyme or reason for it. It feels like nothing will ever get better, life feels pointless and painful and my head swims with all the injustices happening in the world. 

When I was 17 I had my first boyfriend, who ended up being a classic abuser. After we broke up I started getting panic attacks, thinking I would run into him again. I didn't really know what a panic attack was at the time, because nobody really spoke about anxiety disorders or other mental health issues openly back then. Eventually my panics started happening in crowded places (no more festivals for me), and social anxiety worsened massively - I've had several bouts of going offline for months at a time because I'm positive everybody is talking about me and I feel like if I delete all my social media people will forget I exist. I am a rational person, but these emotions and paranoia override my rational brain. (Nobody is talking about me, let's be honest. There are more interesting things happening in the world, like Kylie hiding her baby bump.)

When I was at uni I tried counselling but felt uncomfortable and like I wasn't really learning anything from it. I tried Prozac and went crazy with insane side effects and can't really remember those 7 months, so I came off that. Then I started taking Sertaline, or Zoloft. That helped a lot for a long time, but they also made me sign up for counselling. I had a long awkward phone conversation where I had to explain how often I think about suicide before she was convinced I was important enough to make it onto the NHS list. Then I moved house and borough and got dropped from the list and had to re-register.

Then last month I lost my job and my anxiety got worse. I can't sleep and wake up in hot sweats. I had one bad episode on a train where I had to barge everyone out of my way like bowling pins so I could get off, shaking, sweating and dry-wretching for absolutely no apparent reason. I cried the whole way home and couldn't shake the fear I had even though there was no reason for it. I downloaded apps like Calm to get to sleep, because otherwise I lie awake restlessly for hours thinking about the injustice of life and how much easier it would be to end it all, leaving behind a callous suicide letter on my blog publicly naming and shaming everyone who has led me to this, Hannah from 13 Reasons Why style. My Zoloft prescription was recently doubled. Go figure. 

So this New Year my focus is on taking care of myself, and I would recommend everyone spend a little time on bettering themselves because life can feel overwhelming for everyone sometimes.

My New Years Resolution List, AKA, 10 Reasons to Stay Alive this Year. 

1. Start boxing again, once a week. Because it's fun and I need to get my rage and bitterness out in a healthy way.

2. Start going to spin once a week again, because I love it and exercise is good for the mind.

3. Drink less, because even though it numbs things for me short-term, I know it's a depressive and makes me feel worse long-term.

4. Do one of my Mindfulness apps every day, because it's good to reflect and only takes ten minutes.

5. Try to journal, paint or write whenever I have free time rather than flicking through social media, because creativity is important and what Becki from Uni is doing in Malia is not.

6. Try therapy again, because not all counsellors sit and look at you with a frown for the entire hour and I might actually learn something from it.

7. Find the perfect job, even if it takes a few more months. After turning a few things down the last couple of weeks I feel in control of my search and know what I'm looking for.

8. Eat less take out, because it gives me spots. (I'll start when the leftover pizza from today is gone, obvs.)

9. Make one plan every week with a friend, because keeping a close network of amazing, strong and empowering females is important, especially when there are so many fake friends swanning about the place like prostitutes at the Red Light District. 

10. Go out once a week with Steven, even if it's just up the road to the pub for one drink after work so that we make time for each other and communicating. Plus he always makes me laugh, and laughing is good for the soul. 

So, there you have it. Don't feel sorry for me, because it's not meant for that at all. It's about ending the stigma surrounding mental health, being open about it and documenting my journey as I fight it. 

What are your New Year resolutions? Any advice for additions to my list? Let me know!


C x

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