Playing the Game

So I’ve spent the last 3/4 years of my life with Depression, bulldosing through my relationships, friendships, grades and just about anything it found that mattered to me. Drugs can make a difference, but they won’t make you a better person or your life any better and one thing that Depression has never managed to take away from me is my stubbornness. I will not allow drugs to control me, so there’s only one option really. I need to start playing the Game of Life instead of fearing it.

Recently I’ve been hurt like never before by a human. These past few weeks I have been the most horrible, selfish and aggressive human being. It took hurting my Mum like never before in a row for me to realise this and how much I hated the person I was becoming. Then last night, I was overthinking as usual (past,future and present as always). But as stupid as it sounds, something clicked in my head and I reacted completely differently to my thoughts. I realised I had to take responsibility of my own brain. So at 12pm, I’m scribbling down all sorts in the pitch black, fag in the other hand.

And so for the first time, I’m taking back control of my head and life step by step. I decided I’m going to blog about every step I take along the journey because I also feel like there are so so many people who can relate. My best friend woke up to multiple messages from me last night at an ungodly hour about all of this and thinks I’m going crazy. She’s probably right…

My Best Friend, 2016: “You’re actually going crazy”


Step 5: Through the Looking Glass

Today as I looked on my Facebook memories, a picture of my ex boyfriend and I came up, looking all cute and happy. It’s easy to feel lonely and sad when you see that, but strangely I didn’t. As I looked into the picture, I remembered everything that was going on inside my head at that time. 17 year old me, in my boyfriends arms, happy and in love. But the picture doesn’t tell the true story. Happy and in love are not two words that go together. Depression had a heavy hold over me and I hated myself. I remember thinking I was ugly and fat and hated my body more than anyone else could. I suppose that’s something we do sometimes, if we hate ourselves more than others, then nothing they say or do will get to us. We already believe it. This is in theory, the theory of our depressed minds. Because in reality, what people think and say will always get to us. But depression isn’t based on reality, completely the opposite really. I remember my broken-record boyfriend telling me over and over, “You’re beautiful, you’re not fat or ugly”. “You’re my boyfriend, you have to say that” I’d respond, my mind thinking of any possible reason to not believe him. As hard as he tried, what I’ve realised today is that it’s only me that can change my perception of myself. When I look back at that image now, I see a young, slim and beautiful girl that I wish she’d just believe in herself and love herself as much as the boy in the picture does and I just can’t quite get my head around how I had those perceptions of myself at the time. It reminds me of how far I’ve come and how accepting of myself I am. Whenever I feel awful about myself, it is a reflection interfered with by my Depression, not a true image.

My Ex Boyfriend, all the time: “You’re so beautiful, I just wish you’d see it”

Dear fellow uni students: From one with Depression.

Dear fellow uni students,

It’s difficult, university. But studying university with a honours degree in Depression can seem mere impossible at times. We know it’s hard to understand and you have a million other #uniproblems, but here’s 10 things we would like you to know;

  1. Just because you don’t see us crying, it doesn’t mean were not struggling. As open as I have become about how I’m feeling, it doesn’t mean that I tell people every time I feel down about something (because sometimes we just don’t want to talk about it).
  2. Just because our attendance is low and we don’t get out of bed much, it doesn’t mean were lazy. Trust me, I want to get out of bed and be in every lecture! Especially considering the amount were paying for them. But it often feels as if were running on empty and sometimes there is nothing we can do to get ourselves out of bed.
  3. We don’t miss those 9am’s just because we want a lay in. I set myself 7 alarms, next to me, and even my house mates wake up to them. My body however, thinks it needs to sleep all day and isn’t even disturbed my the typical iPhone alarm sounds going off for hours.
  4. Just because we seem happy, it doesn’t mean were not having to fight everyday for it. Depression doesn’t go away, we can get better at coping, but it’s still there. We have to fight it to get up in the morning, to get into uni, to do our coursework, our washing up… Almost everything to a degree.
  5. The smallest thing can make the biggest difference. Trying to fight past the mouldy washing up to put the kettle on in the morning is triggering, TO ANYONE.
  6. For some of us, we didn’t believe university was possible for us. Depression can really mess up your education. Getting into uni can be a struggle after it hitting your A Levels like a wrecking ball, let alone the question of if you can manage the student stress of living with others, money and heaps of coursework, away from home, when it’s been a huge difficulty in the past.
  7. Our achievements are different. Making it through the first year of uni is an achievement, making it to one day of lectures a week and submitting coursework on time are victories in our eyes, no matter what mark we get.
  8. Even if you, or someone close to you suffers from Depression, it doesn’t mean you understand the extent of ours. Everyone suffers different extremities and types of Depression, we know it’s impossible for you to understand sometimes.
  9. We are always trying, even when we seem like were not. We have to, because the fall can be pretty hard otherwise.
  10. We don’t want you to tread on your toes around us. But we do want you to consider and be respectful of the everyday struggles we face, that you probably wouldn’t even think about.


Uni students with Depression

P.s, We appreciate all the help you give us an awful lot.

The Ship that Sailed to Bournemouth

So, I’m back, still going on my journey of ups and down, still regularly battling against my own brain but now in a new place with a new enemy. University. If you’re in the same boat or considering sailing the same ship, let me give you an insight. Never has an experience given me such an array of rollercoaster emotions. One day I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else, the next I can’t even drag myself out of bed for a lecture. That sounds like I’ve been drinking the night before a 9am right? Nope, way too poor to go out with my terrible “budgeting” techniques (due to an addiction for stereotypical Uni student fairy lights in my room) and I don’t even have a single 9am. Same with my flat mates, absolutely love them and I’m very lucky to be matched with randomers who are as weird and loud as me. Even if they do judge most of my choices in food. Some days though when I wake up, head to the kitchen to have breakfast at 1pm and find playing cards everywhere, an Eiffel tower of washing up and a floor that feels as if you’re a fly stuck on fly paper… Those days are low days. But don’t let that put you off Uni if you’re a clean person, eventually you all get together when it gets too bad and basically re-enact an episode of DIY SOS on the kitchen.

Since being at University and living very closely with 5 people, I’ve discovered new interests to escape just for a little while until one of the boy’s bursts into my room asking for a face mask. One of these, and if you haven’t experienced this yet I’m sure you will soon, is Gordon Ramsey. Yes, Kitchen Nightmares and Hell’s Kitchen are my saviours. Screw the tv licence, you’ll find plenty of episodes on Youtube and Netflix that do not disappoint. It could be something to do with watching an angry man shout and swear a lot, I don’t even know but it works. Secondly, board games. I am the most competitive person ever and possibly the biggest loser, but the journey before I lose is enjoyable unless it’s complicated and takes 300 times to explain to everyone because they’re not listening. Our flat plays so many, ones I’ve not even played before and it’s got to the point now where we’ve began betting on them. Loser usually must buy something for the flat, so you could call it positive gambling I suppose? If that exists.

In all honesty, before coming to uni I saw it as a place to go and grow up. Since being at uni, I’ve realised and noticed that everyone tends to revert to childhood comforts and activities. Prior to this experience I had not played a board game, owned fairy lights, played on the Wii or eaten spaghetti hoops in years. I love it. Despite how scared of change, new people and new faces I was, shaking on the journey up to Bournemouth my boyfriend was right to force me into that car and I wouldn’t change him winning that argument for anything.

After returning home from a family and friends filled Christmas and with exams looming, I’m ready to take on a whole new term of this chaotic charm. With plans to be cleaner, eat better and budget better for the new year and term, I’m sure it will be the same as the last just with new memories and friends.

“Go home Annie” – My Boyfriends housemate, 2018 (when I’m being silly about going back to uni).

Step 4: Being the Brains Accomplice

I haven’t posted for a while because I thought, “How can i help people when I can’t even help myself right now?”. But the past few months have been testing. All the advice I’ve given to myself and others I’ve found are absolutely useless when you’re buried 5 feet deep in the ground, gasping for air. Despite the fact that I managed to complete my school work to the highest grade I could, of which I am so proud of myself for winning against Depression on the academic front, I’m still fighting on other grounds. Sometimes it feels like all my life is going to be a fight against this enemy, so what’s the point?

But there is a point. The older we get, the more we learn and the more positive memories we build that helps us to keep fighting. We meet new people, great people whom keep us fighting, as long as we don’t shut ourselves away. The war will never end, but small victories are what keep me fighting. The main point of this blog, however, is to advise you all: Don’t be your brains accomplish. I feel that I am partly to blame for digging the hole I’ve been in deeper. I seem to do everything I can to avoid asking for help, even running away for a few days to clear my head, hoping that will solve everything. OF course it doesn’t. The problem is, most of us are aware of the help we can get and know where to get it, but the difficult part is to stop being stubborn and afraid of being ‘weak’ if we gain help, and reach out for that life ring to help return us to sustainable living.

This is the third time I’ve been prescribed drugs, but this time I’m actually going to take them properly and do this, otherwise I’m being my brains accomplice once again. If I’m going to fight this monster, I need to know I’m doing everything I can. Don’t ignore your patterns, I could have done something about it early if, like my parents, I had noticed that when I’m about to spiral I binge watch Skins. Sounds silly, but it’s my escape and I’ve never realised. Another thing, talk about it. I really struggle to tell people when I’m feeling down, yet this time I told my parents. Not in detail, just a “I’m feeling a bit down at the moment”. They know I don’t like to talk about it, and because I’ve told them, other than the short “we are here for you”, they haven’t forced me to talk, but instead just done everything they can to keep my mood up. If you don’t feel like you can talk to anyone, there are even people online who care and will listen, and you can remain completely anonymous.

My Best Friend, 2017: “Messy heads all round”

Step 3: The Small Things

What is a bed? A creature that tempts you, whom once you’ve given in to will make leaving almost impossible. A prison you could say. Nothing ever gets achieved in bed. I used to find getting out of bed near impossible some days, and that’s when the cycle starts. You spend a day in bed, no sense of achievement and a feeling of wasted time, get behind on things, remain in bed to avoid it until it grows and grows. Bed can be your ultimate downfall.

100% attendance at school seemed achievable before, until I started this journey. It’s the small things that lead to your happiness and success. Every morning, no matter what time or if I have school, I stick to the same morning routine. As difficult as it is at first, it becomes habit eventually. I set myself a few rules;


Whether a weekend or week day, always be awake and out of bed by 9am. Not only has this fixed my body clock, but also means I have so much more time in the day to get things done that need to be, without being frantic. Usually I’ll wake up at 8.30am, giving me time to ‘pre-wake up’ as such with a cup of tea and a fag and have a check through my social media so that I won’t check it for the rest of the day. Personally, a ‘pre-wake up’ makes me feel prepared and ready to get out of bed. It’s like a warm up for the Olympics of life everyday!

Rule 2

Once you’re out of bed, do not trespass anywhere near it again it’s risky.

Rule 3

Always get dressed in the morning, even if you’re not going anywhere. You look good, you feel good. Clothes are like the defining of time, getting dressed teaches your brain that it’s day time, time to get something done!

Tip 1

For someone who struggles with energy, multivitamins are a savoir. Whether they actually work or not, there’s always a placebo effect I find. I take a variety of multivitamins every morning, kept by my toothbrush so i don’t forget. It also makes you feel more kind of in control of yourself and body because you’re trying to do something about your energy rather than using it as an excuse. I actually just need to go and take mine…

Tip 2

Before you go to bed every night, make a list of all the things you need to do the next day and leave it by your bed. Read through it when you wake up and it reminds you why you need to get out of bed today. Then you can cross them off as you go and look at how much you’ve achieved each day. Even if it’s stuff like ‘have a bath’ I still write it down.

Tip 3

Music. But not any music, wake up to music that makes you wanna move and you cannot sleep to. I have a morning playlist that consists of things like ‘The Prodigy’ to get me motivated. Not that I reckon many people wake up to The Prodigy. I also fall asleep listening to music, but i make sure it is a complete contrast to my morning playlist so that day and night contrasts strongly in my brain.

Tip 4

Be active when you wake up, even if it’s just star jumps. I do squats every morning as soon as I’ve got out of bed and usually a short minute long exercise. I make sure I do it every morning to build a routine. It wakes me up and makes me determined to achieve things that day. It also means that when I look in the mirror, whether I look skinnier or fitter or not, I feel as though I am.

This is just natural for me to do every morning now, and I cannot remember the last time I ended up getting sucked into my bed for the whole day (hangovers not counted). As cheesy as it sounds, you have to dedicate yourself to life, an everyday routine, before you can dedicate yourself to anything else.

My Best Friend, 2016: “You’re so loud in the morning…”


Step 2: Be one step ahead of yourself

I’ve been pretending for about 5 months now that A level results day never happened because before, during and after collecting them, I knew I could have done so so much better. Recently in my ‘epiphany’ I thought about all the things that I overthink about at night from the past, about how I would have done things differently, and  how I messed. All the things now that I’m trying to move on from. What I’ve realised is I need to be one step ahead of myself, so whatever I screw up in life doesn’t evolve into something else to ‘move on from’. So now, I’m trying to live in the future. Reflecting on my present life and thinking, “Is this something I’ll be overthinking in a few months, years, decade?”. If the answers yes, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!

So, as much as others might see me as a failure and as embarrassed as I feel, I’m also proud to be doing something about it and I’m actually so excited for the future and to get my head down now as sad as that is. I’ve gone back to school, to do a Business qualification. And although I’m older than everyone else, I just remind myself that there are others who feel the same, but have been too scared to make something happen. But you can’t worry about how others see you, because this is YOUR FUTURE, YOUR HAPPINESS. I can happily look back at this and think, “at least I didn’t give up”, despite how terrified I was on my first day, despite the fact I haven’t made any friends. This is about me, and sometimes you have to be selfish.

I’m not afraid to say “I messed up” anymore.

My Best Friend, 2016: “Ur gonna be Jordan Wilson” (a boy at our old school who never seemed to leave the sixth form)

Step 1: Changing Appearance

Okay, now bear with me here before you tell me this is not what you should do to be happy with yourself.

I have always had low self confidence and hated the way I looked and I believe this can be related to the majority of the population- Depression or no Depression. I used to be the most confident little girl, but even the tiniest thing can change how you perceive yourself as you grow older. For me, this was as simple as a boy mate laughing and pointing at my bloated stomach  after I had eaten dinner, as I was wearing a tight vest top. From that moment at 13 years of age, I’ve been forever conscious about my weight and the rest of the insecurities followed. Forever wanting the opposite of what we have, we can never be happy with what we do have and accept who we are.

This step originally, was me trying to find happiness by changing myself to be like those girls whom I idolised their appearances. Firstly, I’ve never been any good at makeup so never bothered with wearing much. I’d see these girls who had perfect makeup everyday and think “wow I wanna look how she looks everyday”.

So I spent a load of money on contour kits, eye shadow pallets, a decent foundation rather than the Asda brand I’d previously used (how embarrassing) and began doing the full works everyday. I felt so confident and good, for a few days…

Now here’s the worst change I made; I had always ALWAYS wanted to be blonde. As soon as I was old enough to differentiate between my brown hair and blonde, I wanted it more than anything. So the other day, I finally made the change. Now I’m currently representing the blonde side, after about 5 attempts at bleaching (not advised).

All of this changing actually resulted in me being happy with the way I look, but not because I now looked how I wanted to. The disaster of the blonde and the effort to get ready every day trying to do perfect makeup actually made me appreciate how I am naturally. Now I can live knowing that blonde doesn’t work nor suit me, yet my natural colour does. And I actually started to prefer myself with less makeup, because eventually the confidence of wearing lots wore off and became ‘normal’. So i actually learnt the lesson of how to be happy with YOURSELF through changing yourself temporarily. For now anyway…

My Best Friend, 2016: “You look like Draco Malfoy”