Band of Skulls was on to something

I need love ’cause only love is true 
I need every waking hour with you 
And my friends ’cause they’re so beautiful 
Yeah, my friends they are so beautiful 
They’re my friends

Excuse the corny intro, but the lyrics to Band of Skulls’ Friends ring so true that I wanted you to see them. So today, in honour of World Mental Health Day 2017, let’s talk about the value — nay, the necessity — of having a supportive group of friends at university.

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A shift towards mindfulness

Mindfulness*, as Dan Harris puts it, is the ability to know what’s happening in your head at any given moment without getting carried away by it.

My mind is in a bad space, for a number of reasons:

  • the ever-looming shadow of exams
  • the rising temperatures
  • the clothes, ridden, dishevelled distaster that is my room
  • the fucking underestimated strength of my depression

If there ever was a perfect time to return to the practice of mindfulness, it is now. Continue reading

On pills and privilege

When I came to terms with my mental illness, it was not simply through the help of family and friends. I was lucky enough to have the guidance of a psychologist.

Living with mental illness is unfair and exhausting, but there are degrees to which we, as individuals, suffer. If I didn’t have the familial and financial support to access psychotherapy and medication, I’d be in a far worse place right now. Continue reading

Five blogs (and vlogs) that I love

This post had to include blogs and vlogs – they’re equally relevant platforms, prone to both wonderful and horrendous content. Here are some of my personal faves:

  1. Depression Darling

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A few months ago, while researching the side-effects of antidepressants, I came across this gem. I was hooked. Sina invites you into her mind through her candour, her hilarious comics, and her unique way of sharing the ups and downs of mental illness. Her writing holds a charming balance between personal suffering and self-deprecation. She seems to be on hiatus at the moment, and I anxiously await more posts in the future from her (hope you’re okay and please come back one day if you can, Sina).

2. Bodyposipanda

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There’s an endless amount of “fitspo” accounts aross social media, but alongside them, there are now people sharing something far more relevant to our times: body positivity. Through her powerful voice, Megan Jayne Crabbe shares her thoughts on the diet industry, self-confidence, intuitive eating, and intersectional feminism, to name a few. Continue reading

Does being depressed give you a free pass to be an arsehole?

The short answer: no.

The long answer:

Heading into my third month of taking meds, my mood has been wonderfully stable of late. My most recent holiday was the best I’ve had since I started varsity, and I didn’t even do much. Note the word, “stable”: I am not dancing in the rain or running through meadows pretending to fly. I just feel “normal”. And normal has never felt sweeter.

What constitutes being an arsehole? Maybe you were already one before you were depressed, or maybe your idea of rudeness involves dirty looks or forgetting to say, “thank you”. Whatever the case, your mood drops (and fluctuates) when you are depressed, so you’re bound to act differently – whether you’re aware of it or not. Continue reading

The anxiety of truth-telling

When I try to think of a way to describe depression, the first word that comes to mind is gravity. Gravity becomes stronger; it moves beyond the point of keeping me grounded. Now it’s trying to push me into the ground, a great big hand reaching down from the sky and forcing me down. Suddenly, I am lying down, an unresponsive lump on the bed, a few dribbled sentences sitting before me, waiting in vain to be refurbished.

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Out of order

This morning, the washing machine overflowed.

Since moving out of campus residence and into a flat with my friend, I’ve encountered most of what I’d heard about from other students. I’ve dealt with raucous neighbours, wobbly internet connection, lousy half-arsed meals, water shortage, and units on the electricity metre fading so fast you’d think we owned a jumping castle. On the bright side, I told myself, we’ve never had a problem with the washing machine.

By the end of this week, our flat was a disaster. My roommate and I had pushed through a pile of deadlines, and our poor living quarters had suffered the consequences of this. When under pressure, we do not clean*. The monsters loved the mess; they gained courage, climbing in through the window, smashing a wine glass, stealing our food and spilling crumbs all over the floor.  Continue reading