“A diamond doesn’t start out polished and shining. It once was nothing...
So I bought this new Maybelline eyeshadow in On and On Bronze on Saturday, mainly because I was bored waiting for my friend who was running a bit late.
I thought it would be handy to have a relatively neutral eyeshadow to keep in my bag for the mornings when I’m running too late for work to have time to do my makeup before leaving the house. Or for if I want to freshen up my face because I end up making last minute plans to do something after work.
It cost me a fiver. I wasn’t expecting great thing from it but I thought it would do.
Now today, after a day of eye watering allergies, a torrential downpour, and an early evening nap it still looks EXACTLY the same as it did when I put it on this morning.
Colour tattoo indeed.
I’m impressed. I recommend.
“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the ‘Titanic’ who waved off the dessert cart.” ~ Erma Bombeck
On Thursday while I was at work I ate a sausage sandwich for breakfast, some chorizo and tomato soup and a chocolate bar for lunch, and a packet of ready salted crisps later in the afternoon.
On Friday while I was at work I ate a sausage sandwich for breakfast, a jacket potato with baked beans for lunch, and most of a packet of skittles later in the afternoon.
Thursday and Friday were the only days that I worked, I was off with flu the rest of the week.
I spent both afternoons listening to a chorus of women, and it’s always the women, remarking incredulously on how ‘you don’t feel guilty about eating that at all do you?’
No. No, I do not.
It has never once in my life occurred to me to feel guilty about eating food.
I don’t consider eating in and of itself to be a moral act.
I mean, I think it’s important to try to be aware of where my food came from and how it was produced. I try as much as possible to buy my meat from local butchers who know the farms that supply them and can verify the conditions the animals were raised in.
Although sometimes I just don’t have time to get to the butchers while they’re open and I end up buying from supermarkets instead; and sometimes those supermarkets are Tesco supermarkets, so I could realistically be eating pretty much anything. And, well, sausages.
I feel a bit bad about that.
I try to be aware of the air miles of the fruit and vegetables I buy; but then I can never decide which is better or worse between only eating things that are in season and locally grown, which is probably better for the environment, and supporting farmers for whom the export market is their livelihood. And I keep meaning to take the time to read and learn enough to make a properly informed opinion one way or the other but then there’s always something else that I ‘ought’ to be doing as well.
So I feel a little bit guilty about that.
I don’t do nearly enough about the fact that there are other people in the world who don’t have enough food options to have the luxury of worrying about the above. People who just don’t have enough food full stop.
That’s something I ought to make more time for but haven’t so far and I feel more than a little bit guilty about that.
But the simple act of consumption food; why would anybody bother to feel guilty about that?
I’m not on a diet; I’m not trying to lose weight, and even if I was I wouldn’t go on a diet because all the evidence that I’ve seen suggests that dieting isn’t a healthy or effective way to go about it.
The weight-loss industry makes me very angry when I bother to think about it because it makes multi-billion dollar profits from exploiting people’s insecurities to sell them ‘solutions’ that don’t work. If they actually ‘worked’ people wouldn’t have to either stick to them forever or carry on repeating them ad nauseam, all the while continuing to pay more good money to whichever weight-loss club they’re signed up to.
But even if I was on a diet I wouldn’t waste my time feeling guilty about eating a packet of crisps and a chocolate bar – because, why? Because they have ‘too many’ calories in them I’m assuming?
Here’s everything that I know, or think I know, about calories: a calorie is a unit of energy; there are fewer calories in a stick of celery than you burn in the process of eating it; you burn roughly the same amount of calories in your sleep as there are in a Mars bar; there are 20 calories in a jelly baby; and calories are morally neutral.
No, what I’d do it that I’d eat them and then refrain from eating any more crisps or chocolate bars for the next few days, or the rest of the week, or however long it is that you’re supposed to keep up with the self-denial.
And save the guilt for actual things that are worthy of feeling guilty over; like snapping at someone because I’m over tired, or disrupting other people’s lives with my mental health problems, or forgetting to do that quite important thing that I said that I was going to do for someone within the period of time that I said that I was going to do it.
And don’t even get me started on how all these women came by the idea that we’re all under some kind of obligation to eat a certain way and to conform to a set of pre-determined feelings about our food on the basis of our gender.
Because I’m here to tell you, as someone who has been clinically diagnosed with a problematic excess of anxiety and an unhealthy lack of interest in my own longevity, that life is just too fucking short for anyone to be wasting their time feeling guilty about eating a chocolate bar.
*That’s a picture of what I had for dinner last night – it was AM-AZ-ING.
“We all have times when we go home at night and pull out our hair and feel misunderstood and lonely and like we’re falling. I think the brain is such that there is always going to be something missing.” ~ Jude Law
Fighting depression is like the tortoise and the hare, where you’re the tortoise and all those other ‘normal’ people are the hares.
Except that the hares are going to beat you.
Over and over again.
So just forget about the hares. Concentrate on your own journey.
Battling depression can often leave you feeling as though you’re adrift in the middle of a choppy sea with nothing to see but crashing waves in every direction. From this vantage point it can be very difficult to have any meaningful perspective on how far you’ve come or how far you have yet to go in terms of your recovery because you’re, understandably, focussing primarily on your current battle to keep your head above water.
You don’t have any landmarks to show you the amount of progress that you’ve made, progress that you’d be really proud of if you were only able to recognise it, because there are no landmarks in the middle of the sea. The sea’s very unhelpful that way.
But if you were to dig into your reserves of energy to think about it for just a few minutes you’d probably be able to recognise that you’ve actually come a long way since the last time you thought about it, when you’d probably made progress on the time before that. It’s just this damn sea and its unhelpful lack of perspective which is demoralising you into forgetting how well you’re doing and how much progress you’re making.
The thing is you’re used to thinking of illness and recovery in terms of physical health problems like the flu, or a chest infection, or a broken leg. Where you get x, you take y, and in z amount of time everything’s back to normal again.
Tackling mental illness doesn’t work like that.
Like the tortoise you aren’t going to get anywhere quickly. You aren’t going to get better in the next hour, or by tomorrow morning, or by the middle of next week, possibly not even by next year.
But you have to keep slowly plodding forward like the tortoise in the belief that eventually you will make it to where you are headed, back on to dry land.
Not because I can promise you that eventually you will get there.
I can’t do that. I haven’t managed to make it to within sight of the shoreline myself yet.
But because the alternative is that you will stay where you are and then eventually you will drown. And that isn’t an option that I’m willing to accept for either of us.
So as a wise little fishy once told us, we’re both going to just keep swimming, okay?
*I didn’t have any pictures of tortoises or hares, sorry.
“If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?” ~ Lily Tomlin
I’m really, really, epically bad at mornings.
So I get through a lot of dry of shampoo – because I often just don’t have time to wash, condition and blow dry my hair on weekday mornings.
Except that this week I ran out. And so did my local shop.
So I bought some baby powder instead.
Since that’s what I used to use back in the day before dry shampoo became a thing.
And you know what? I’m never going back to using dry shampoo again.
Because the baby powder worked so much better than the Batiste dry shampoo I’m used to using. Just so much better.
It took far less talc to make my hair appear clean than it would have done dry shampoo, with the result that my hair looked much cleaner than it would have done if it’d had half a can of dry shampoo sprayed into it. As in, it pretty much looked as though I’d actually washed my hair.
I don’t know whether it’s a problem particular to being a bottle blonde with really dark natural hair, but when I haven’t washed my hair my natural colour becomes much more prominent than it is when my hair has just been washed. It looks like I have really dark hair with not so great highlights as opposed to a person with mostly blonde hair with some natural lowlights.
Dry shampoo doesn’t really do much to counteract this effect. Whereas the baby powder if anything made my roots even less noticeable than they are normally. My housemate said my hair looked lighter.
The baby powder also made my hair actually feel clean, which isn’t something I ever really get from dry shampoo. I spend most of the day that I’ve used it feeling very much aware that I’ve only dry shampood it and wanting very much to get home and shower so that I can stop feeling quite so skanky.
The baby powder also works out cheaper than the dry shampoo, not that the dry shampoo costs enough that it was ever going to break the bank.
The only downside that I can see to the baby powder is that because you pour it rather than spray it you tend to get as much of it on everything around you as you do in your hair, then you have to remember to rub it in to all those things to make it go away. Which is hardly the greatest hardship in the world.
So, yeah, I’m sticking with the baby powder from now on. How about you?