About The Girl

ABOUT ME:

My name is Sarah.

I’ve always thought it would be cool to run my own magazine, but I became a charity lawyer instead. Some day I’ll give it all up to become a goatherd.

A few things about me:

  • I love jelly babies, except for the black ones, I hate blackcurrant flavoured sweets.
  • I do not trust mushrooms.
  • I will always be Team Britney.
  • I am always, always running late.
  • I am obsessed with salsa, the dip not the dancing.
  • I have the world’s biggest crush on Georgia Jagger.
  • I am usually to be found drinking tea, I consider myself a connoisseur.
  • I believe that there are two types of people in the world, decent people, and people who murder snowmen.

My favourite place in the world is Ipanema beach.

And Nhkata Bay. Oh, and the Shanghai Museum. And Oslo. Or Luang Prabang. The Khao San Road. And Penang. And Johannesburg. And London. And… you get the idea… I live to travel. Consequently my carbon karma is horrendous, I’m going to come back as a patch of grass and be tarmac’d over to build a runway.

I put those quotations at the beginning of all my posts because it was something I saw in a book once; there was a random quotation heading each new chapter. Nothing else at all about the book has stayed with me but I thought the quoting thing was cool, so I stole it. I do like me a good quotation.

(They’re not quotes, quotes is the verb – says the last person in the world who should be lecturing anyone else on grammar).

ABOUT MAKE-UP & MIRTAZAPINE:

I have complex post-traumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder, borderline personality disorder, and generalised anxiety disorder.

As that’s somewhat of a mouthful I tend to think of them as My Crazy.

I’ve probably had My Crazy for at least 20 years but I was only diagnosed in 2011. Living with these diagnosis’ is in many ways very similar to living with something like diabetes. My illness is not to be taken lightly but I can mostly live a normal enough life so long as I look after myself properly, there are just some sets of circumstances which can trigger quite serious episodes and so I need to try to avoid them.

When I was first diagnosed I noticed two standard reactions from the people around me after I told them about it.

Firstly, there were some people who on hearing any reference to a mental health problem automatically thought, “Oh my god. This is a very ‘Big Deal’. Argh.” Then they’d panic, overreact and try to avoid any further discussion on the subject all together. Either because they thought that it’s too difficult to talk about or because they were worried that they might say the wrong thing and drive me to commit suicide.

While I did, and do, appreciate these people taking what I’ve told them seriously; I’m not a ticking time bomb with a big scary clock face, and I haven’t joined a new race of people who are made entirely of glass. The disaster has already happened. You’re unlikely to cause me any further harm without being intentionally impolite or insensitive.

The other frequent response was to flat out deny my diagnosis. – ‘You’re not depressed, X person (who’s absolutely nothing like us) is depressed, so you can’t be.’ – Or at the very least to insist that my current episode was just a minor aberration which would be completely over soon, then it would seem like it never even happened and we’d never have to mention this unfortunate discussion again.

That one was frustrating because it’s very difficult to carry on a conversation, about anything, with someone who is living in their own, entirely different, version of reality.

The problem is that I find it nigh on impossible to summon the energy to explain any of these things to anyone who isn’t already on the same page when I’m suffering with an episode. Which is when I really need it the most.

Which brings me to the reasoning behind Make-Up and Mirtazapine.

My aim is to normalise the discussion of my mental health issues and set them into context with the rest of my life life. I am not my illness. There are many different words that I would use to describe myself, but as none of my conditions are adjectives, they do not define who I am.

I write about my experiences of being ill, as well as some general thoughts on mental well-being. There are a few things that I have learnt over the years that I hope could be useful to someone else, whether they have experienced any kind of mental health condition or not.

But I also write about other things, things that interest me from other areas of my life. I want to demonstrate that I am in fact a whole person, at least most of the time, and that being told that you have a mental health problem needn’t be seen as the end of the world. I hope that this might encourage other people, who may have been too afraid, to go and ask for help to get on with living.

As much as any drugs or therapy we all need something to be living for. I see no kindness in saving somebody so that they can simply exist. And when I’ve been at a low it’s always been the other things, the adjectives that do define me, that have slowly brought me back to life.

In addition I think that many of the other areas that I write about, relationships, friendship, work, self-image, are important to our mental health. Getting those things right might not keep us from becoming ill, but if you get them on track it’ll make you feel better and give you more energy to focus on the unavoidable things.

I’m open to discussing any comments or opinions that people have on what I post here, whether they agree with me or not. I would also welcome any suggestions of subjects to be written about or ideas for guest submissions.

 

48 thoughts on “About The Girl

  1. The Secret Life of Bees started each chapter with a quotation. I don’t know if that’s the one that you’re thinking of, but I was raking my brain to find the answer for you and then I remembered that one and got really excited, haha.

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  2. Hello there, I discovered this blog today and I think it’s delightful. I really enjoyed some of the things you said in your “facts about me” section, especially what you said about murdering snowmen. It is a terrible thing to murder a snowman. I’m sorry to hear that you suffer from complex post traumatic stress disorder and depression. That sounds like quite a challenging combination of problems. I suffer from depression myself, and I found that creating a blog was surprisingly therapeutic. Have you found that? I know this is quite geeky, but the lay-out of your blog is beautiful. Very easy to navigate, easy on the eye and cheerful at the same time. In conclusion, well done! :)

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    • You know that’s such a relief to hear! I spent hours over the weekend changing the way the blog looks and I still couldn’t decide whether I’d got it right or not. Web design is not something that comes naturally to me. So it’s really good to hear that someone likes it, thank you.
      I don’t know, I think it helps but not in the ways that I expected it would. I find the having something that I feel like I’m supposed to do therapeutic. I find analysing the way I’m feeling and why enough that I can put it into words facinating in a macarbe sort of way. And having a bunch of people to ‘talk’ to who don’t know me in real life so I don’t feel like I have to worry that I’m going to hurt them if I talk about the fact that despite their best efforts I’m still not well is good.

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      • Yes, web design doesn’t come very naturally to me either. Rest assured, your efforts have paid off! I know what you mean about you not having to worry that you are going to hurt people, when you write on a blog. One of the great things about having a blog is that you can maintain a sense of anonymity, which is great if you are discussing things that are very personal and significant to you, such as mental health. Good luck with the blog. I’m looking forward to reading more :)

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  3. I have enjoyed looking around your blog. I’m really glad you have a section addressing mental health – that is a subject I find very important. In the past I have had issues with clinical depression. It’s nice to read that I’m not the only one with struggles. We’re all in this together.
    ~Ann

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    • Thank you for stopping by, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed it :D

      I’m sorry you’ve had to suffer with depression as well, I hope you continue to do better.

      I was worried in the beginning that nobody would want to read about mental health, especially on a blog that tries to be at least vaguely entertaining, but I’ve learned that there are more of us than I thought. We’re in it together, as you say.

      X

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  4. Seeing as you were kind enough to visit my blog I figured I would return the favour.

    I must say I am loving your work.

    Much like yourself I once dreamt of creating my own magazine, I happen to find Georgia Jagger quite appealing and am not a fan of black jelly babies (although I do not mention this often out of fear of being labelled racist).

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    • Why, thank you, I’m glad that you like it :)

      So far no-one’s ever called me a racist for not liking the black jelly babies. Although that might have something to do with how I always pick out all the purple sweets in a packet and pass them straight on to the person sat next to me, whatever type of sweet they are. So people like that I hate they black ones, it gets them free sweets.

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  5. Hey beautiful :) I enjoyed reading your “About Me” facts, thanks for your honesty :)
    And thank you of course for stopping by my blog, I appreciate it!
    – Janice

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  6. I already love the way your mind works! Welcome to The Sun Drips Honey. I have a Friends Page, where my readers go to tell us all a little about themselves. I invite you to do the same. I’m glad to have you with us!

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  7. Hello, thank you for following my blog, and I’m not just saying that – I love when people follow me and then it turns out they have a blog that I can relate to and enjoy reading – they’re so hard for me to find! I’ve read so much here already that I’ve also thought/written about – I’ll keep coming back :D (I also want to run my own magazine so bad, but as it is I’ve turned out in a 9-5 office job. Boo) xx

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    • Hi there. I’m glad you like mine as much as I’ve been enjoying yours :)
      I suppose that’s one advantage of this over magazine writing, you get to check out other people and discover their cool stuff as well.
      Maybe one day the 9-5 will pay for us to branch out and start our own magazine. Well, I can dream anyway. xx

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  8. what a wonderful about page, very assuring, simple and concise. the fact that you are a tea expert fascinates me. i love tea and have been studying it for some years now. my wife does some oriflame consultancy. so a lot of areas of interest here on your blog.

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  9. Thanks for the follow. Although I have to admit, it scares me a little when that happens… About the goatherd business, I, too, have had thoughts of retiring early and becoming a shepherd… lol! I look forward to reading your blog, as I can relate in more ways than one.

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    • You’re welcome. And thank you for stopping by.
      I know what you mean. I think I sometimes forget when I’m writing that I’m writing on the internet and not just my laptop.
      As for the shepherd thing, I think we could one day end up with the best tended flock ever.

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  10. Hi there! Thanks so much for visiting and following purelysubjective. And thanks for writing so openly about your own life and experiences. It’s a gift to read them. Funny thing about being a goatherd; I seriously considered that as an occupation too. Goats are great!

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  11. If you do decide to become a goatherd, let me know and I might join you. Or is the whole point about goatherding a solitude kind of thing? If it is, I can herd my own goats from a distance.

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  12. Hi thank you so much for finding my blog and following it. It means a lot, I like your blog. I am following, looking forward to reading more by you. Be well.

    Warmly,
    Applejaxe

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