About The Girl

ABOUT ME:

My name is Sarah.

Ten years ago I was a charity lawyer who would have described her three favourite things as martial arts, dancing, and backpacking

Then I was diagnosed with Complex PTSD.

And, after a few years devoted to almost nothing besides getting my mental health under control, I developed a succession of chronic physical health problems and autoimmune conditions – and the discs in my lower back degenerated to the point where I was in constant agony and could barely move. I couldn’t leave the top floor of my house for six months.

The pain, while still ever present, is a lot better now, and I’m working on slowly recovering my mobility. I’m just not willing to believe that I’ve danced at my last wedding or climbed my last waterfall.

But my life looks a lot different now.

I get out and about a lot less – pandemic not withstanding – and I had to change careers to something a lot more flexible. I’m now a freelance trainer and social media manager who’s also working on a cookbook.

Makeup & Mirtazapine was born at the start of this journey because I couldn’t find any information about other younger women dealing with the same issues that I was faced with. So, I decided, to paraphrase Toni Morrison, I must write the blog that had not been written yet.

Thankfully, society has become about lot more open to discussions about mental health and chronic illness in the last ten years. And so have I.

My initial intention was to get the things that were happening in my head out into this space in the hopes that if I could become comfortable telling them to eather, then maybe I’d eventually be comfortable with telling them to myself, and then to other actual people.

That’s not a problem I have anymore. I’m now pretty much an open book. I’m the woman who live-tweeted the insertion of her Mirena.

But it took a long time and a lot of hard work to get here – and I still think that evolution is worth documenting. I hope it can help someone else who’s nearer the beginning of their path to see that things can get better.

The makeup side of things came about because the first GP who helped me with my mental health would decide how much she needed to prompt me to talk about how I was doing by looking at whether I’d had my nails done. It’s amazing how quickly both what we’re now calling ‘self-care’ but also just the things you enjoy – the things that make you you – can take a backseat, then gradually fade away in your rear-view mirror when you’re battling chronic illness or disability.

I’m not just the 30-something who needs a cane to walk.

I also hate mushrooms, love spices, remain endlessly devoted to Britney, gave myself this fabulous haircut, and spent lockdown last year reading 105 novels.

And I feel part of my contribution towards the fight against stigma and ableism is to make sure that neither I, nor anyone else lose sight of it.

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! πŸ™‚

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    1. 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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      1. 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 πŸ™‚

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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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    1. Thank you for stopping by, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed it πŸ˜€

      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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    1. Why, thank you, I’m glad that you like it πŸ™‚

      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 πŸ™‚ I enjoyed reading your “About Me” facts, thanks for your honesty πŸ™‚
    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 πŸ˜€ (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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    1. Hi there. I’m glad you like mine as much as I’ve been enjoying yours πŸ™‚
      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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    1. 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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