what i’ve been listening to lately #3

April was weird and I’m 12 days late but here’s another playlist

dear yessie//jessie reyez

 

 

truth hurts// lizzo

“I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100% that bitch”

dinner and diatribes//hozier

Your friends are a fate that befell me//hell is the talking type//I’d suffer hell if you’d tell me//what you’d do to me tonight

siren// kailee morgue 

“This could be perfection//or venom dripping in your mouth//singing like a siren//love me while your wrists are bound//you’ve been seeing me in your dreams//but I’ll be there when your reality drowns

connect//drake

“Isn’t it amazing how you talk all that shit and we still lack communication”

“”She used to say you can be whoever you want even yourself //I show up knowing exactly who I was and never leave as myself //But when it falls apart, I’m still down to pick a million tiny little pieces off the ground”

let me down//jorja smith

“I’ve got you to let me down. Why do you let me down? Why do you let me down?”

the only//sasha sloan

“A million people in this town but I could scream without a sound”

 

What have you been listening to lately?

xxxChips

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sorry

Just some stuff from my old journals

I have looked in mirrors and not recognised the person staring back at me

I have sat alone at events wondering how long it would take for someone to notice

I have been on stages, and never performed as myself

 

I have read thousands of words because I needed to escape

I have written thousands of words because I am lost, I am so lost and then I am found and then I am not and then I don’t want to be

I have downloaded apps and videos and music to keep me breathing because I have days where doing so without isn’t an option

I have walked around with rocks where my heart should be

I’ve had lengthy conversations with Death and catch up sessions with the universe

 

I have existed in the spaces between everything else because I never knew how to exist in any other way

 

I have tried my best everyday to help people because I don’t think I get saved in this story

I think it ends with self-destruction

 

So I’m sorry if I’m too vulnerable for your liking. I’m sorry if I can’t hide the worst parts of me because I am broken and I’d rather save someone else than save me. I am sorry if you think I’m romanticizing an illness that became my identity way before any diagnosis. I’m sorry if the scars on my body make you uncomfortable. I’m sorry that the only reason I’m here is because of the best people I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing, even if it was never in person and feel like I have to fill this space because I would never have seen 14 if it hadn’t been for them. I’m sorry that I’m so messed up. 

Would you like me to apologise for breathing too?

I have. Often. I do.

I am so sorry

x

my baby is two & 400 followers

So I was planning on writing this post way in advance because I thought I had time and then I didn’t (story of my life) so I hope you enjoy this super short post.

And before you ask, no I’m not the kind of teen mum you’re thinking of, my baby, my blog is two years old.

We hit 400 followers a few days before April 16th(my blog’s birthday) and oh my gosh, it still blows my mind.

I’ve made so many incredible friendships and I’ve gotten to help people, and learn and truly be myself. I’ve grown so much over the past two years, and I owe it to this lovely community. I love you all soooo much.

Thanks for 400 and for making everything about my life so much more special. It’s been two years and I can still picture myself writing my first post while sat on my pink duvet, never in a million years did I ever think I’d end up here.

But I have and 400 of you incredible people actually read my words and take the time to talk to me and ahhhhh I’m so grateful for each and every one of you!!!

xxxChips

the f word//let’s talk about fat shaming

Last night I was writing a post on how I have always refused to change for anybody other than myself. Whether that was my attitude, or my dress code, my opinions. And then I saw this tweet by Gillette and it made me smile so big, there is literally nothing that makes me happier than representation. And my mind was instantly like ‘YESSS. Here is another company who values body positivity and representation and AHHHHH this makes me so unbelievably happy.

And I scrolled down to the comments, and I don’t even have the words to describe how much it sickens me to know I live in a world where people think comments calling people whales and disgusting are okay.

Look I’ve always been a firm believer that you stay the way you are because you choose to, and so when I read comments like that the only thing going through my mind other than a whole bunch of words I would have to censor in this post are questions. Why do you think it’s okay to invalidate someone and tell them they have no right to take up space in this world? What gives you the right to call someone a toothpick, or morbidly obese, a whale or whatever other damaging comment you have prepared?Who the hell are you to hate on someone for loving themselves?

This works either way. But I’ll use the image above in my example. And you can say the vile comment was a means of getting someone to a ‘healthy’ weight but my argument is this: How does making someone feel crap about themselves inspire or motivate them to change their lives for the ‘better’. Quite frankly, if I hated myself the last thing I’d be trying to do was to ‘improve’ my life in any way.I’m paraphrasing what Jenna Alexis said in this video, but my opinions are the same.

You could argue that the ad is glorifying obesity. But when the alcohol ads pop up on TV why is no one calling that the glorification of alcoholism? But then again I suppose it only works as excuse to bully people and not when it comes to you. How very convenient for you then.

And I’m sorry if you don’t realise that not everybody wants to play the role of societies puppets but myself and a whole bunch of other people do and we won’t stop talking about it until something changes.

The point is at the end of the day IT DOESN’T MATTER. At the end of the day it isn’t your body and it’s not your life. And I’m going to tell you all the exact same thing I told the person who decided to debate with me about this on Twitter

I asked my friend Autumn what she thought:

“Things like this just blow my mind. One thing I’m constantly confused about is the whole “glorifying obesity” thing- so, this woman is an actual person. And there are literally MILLIONS of women who have a similar body type to her. This woman is not a unicorn or some other kind of rare creature. So how is seeing an average woman in an ad glorifying anything at all? The other thing that annoys the ever loving shit out of me is the fact that the people who are against women like this don’t have any reason except ‘it’s not healthy’. Well, neither is binge drinking every weekend or having unprotected sex or vaping or leaving the restroom without washing your hands, but still, it’s fat people, especially fat women, who are constantly told they are ‘unhealthy’. We all know that these people don’t care about health, they care about societies preconceived ideas of an aesthetic body. So they call fat women ugly or disgusting or pigs or whales and tell us no one will ever find us attractive or want to sleep with us. But fat women don’t give a shit if people don’t find us attractive, And that’s exactly what body positivity is about-telling people to give us RESPECT, not attraction.” -Autumn

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We’re taught to see our bodies as the problem when the real problem is unrealistic standards. The problem is that we’re still enforcing the idea that a number on a scale matters more than personality and a person’s happiness.

You don’t need to change, not if you’re not doing it for yourself. Your purpose was never meant to be perfecting the art of shrinking yourself to fit into a mould.

I hope you choose to love yourself, even when it feels like the world is telling you you’re wrong for doing so.

xxxChips

 

other people’s opinions see also: things i refuse to care about

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A lot of my reasoning behind doing things is you live and you die and that’s it. You are here today but you won’t be eventually and the idea of living a half-assed life because you are more concerned about everybody else’s opinions of yourself than you are about your own is stupid. If you think about it long and hard you realise it’s stupid, but we do it anyway.

Sometimes I feel trapped in everybody else’s opinions of me. In the comments about my attitude, my clothing, what I share online, on my mental illness and self harm scars.

And the problem (for them more than me) is that I’ve never really cared much about anybody else’s opinion enough to change anything about myself. But as a result of being myself in a world where people think they have a right to tell you who you should and shouldn’t be and what you can and can’t do because everybody else is or isn’t doing it I often find myself having discussions with people older than me, authority figures. By discussions I mean I listen as they talk and talk about everything and I listen because it’s 2019 but I’m still expected to listen and change according to what everybody but myself wants (unless (and this happens 99.9% of the time) I argue back, raise my voice, point out their flaws, expect them to be different, you know, everything they’re doing). And the conclusion always comes to the same thing: I need to change____(fill in the blank)

And lately I’ve been thinking about how I know a lot about myself but I still feel lost. I know writing and music keep me sane. I know nothing about my life is ever really stable, but I’ll always have cold floors to walk on and bare feet.

Everyone’s expected to change for everybody else but themselves and I don’t get that. I don’t get why my mission in life is expected to be pleasing other people like I’m a piece of clay for people to mould into what they want me to be.

And a part of me I hate cares sometimes about other people’s opinions, granted not all of them are utter trash but shouldn’t I be changing for me and not because people don’t agree with who I am?

The other day, I was thinking about how when I was younger, I had a fairly big bed but I’d always take the smallest space right in the corner. Like somehow I already knew I’d be expected to be petite, and polite and smaller than I actually was. Like somehow I knew eventually I’d be programmed to think I was taking up too much space in this world. But then again, it could be nothing more than a result of me typing this at 2am.

I think it’s odd how me not caring leads to conversations about all the reasons I should care.

Sometimes I think people forget that I’m not them. That I’ll never be what anybody other than myself wants to be simply because that’s not me and I’m too stubborn to do anything about it.

I’ve been strangled, kicked out of houses, insulted for being myself but you know if I had to do it all again I wouldn’t change a single thing.

18 has always appealed to me, and not just because I feel like a 24 year old in a 14 year old’s body all the time. But because I think of 18 and I think yeah, maybe things won’t be perfect. Maybe I’ll have a crappy job and my depression will still send me plummeting to new lows but it also means freedom. Freedom in a lot more ways than I have now, and I think that’s enough for me.

I’ll continue to be me til then. I’ll play my music too loud, spend more time in my journals and in my head than around people, drink my weight in Pepsi, talk feminism and mental health more often than I talk about the weather.

The idea of being anybody other than myself scares me a lot more than the consequences of doing so.

Hell, I’m lost enough being myself what would I be doing to myself if I actually cared about being a modified version of myself?

I’m just sick of being expected to be everybody else instead of myself. If I ever have kids I’d want to support them regardless of what page 21 of that magazine said, or the ideas we’ve introduced and allowed ourselves to carry on supporting like how boys shouldn’t cry, or I need to look and act a certain way because otherwise I’ll never find someone and all that other bullshit.

Gosh I could never be the kind of parent who makes their kid feel anything less than incredible for being themselves.

You want to paint the walls a colour bordering purple and navy blue with glow in the dark stars because you spend your nights staring at the sky thinking about everything and feeling more like yourself than you ever have? Let’s do it. You’re gay, lesbian, transgender, asexual, bisexual, aromantic, aro-ace, intersex, questioning, transsexual, pansexual or straight? I love you and not despite your identity, but because it’s you and I love you and nothing should change that if you actually mean it. If my son wants to grow his hair down to his ankles and my daughter feels better in jeans a shirt than she ever will in a dress or skirt then who the hell am I to tell someone who they are?

Especially as nobody, fully has any clue about the answer to that.

You spend your whole life questioning who you are? And by the time you’re on your deathbed you still only know fragments of the answer. Stop telling everybody who they can and can’t be, it’s like being an identity thief and punishing the victim for the crime.

You spend your whole life searching for fragments of who you are, and you think you can rob other people of their’s because you worry more about being judged than you do about making people hate themselves.

It’s been a while since I’ve rambled like this…
xxxChips

a self harm q+a

Trigger Warning: Mentions of suicidal ideations, self harm.

I couldn’t talk about this topic without putting a trigger warning because I do share my own experiences in here but I promise you reading this will do more good than it will bad. I hope that by speaking about this you realise that you are not alone and you realise that there is hope even if you can’t see or feel it.

I love you.

What was the moment that you first felt you had to take your pain out on your body?

I’ve always been the kind of person who was in my head in a lot. When I was younger (I’d say from the age of 8) I was really social and bubbly and extroverted but I also spent a bunch of time in my room, thinking about everything and feeling overwhelmingly sad for reasons I didn’t understand. I have this distinct memory of being in my bedroom and looking out my window (it had bars) and feeling like I was trapped. And my thinking process was kind of like I’m trapped in my room, in my complex in this country, on this earth, inside the universe. I can’t get out

I had a little bench in my room and I’d sit there looking out my window just thinking that over and over again. And I was 9 when I first stumbled upon the phrase depression, I was reading The Sisterhood of The Travelling Pants at the time and I was like ‘that’s it, that’s the word for how I feel.’ and I went on Google and looked up the symptoms and looking at the symptoms for me was the same as you checking off every item on a to-do list.

And I told my brother, and he thought I was being dramatic. I totally don’t blame him for this at all, I did drama every day of the week whether it was at school or practicing in my bedroom, I had a dramatic flair and I had a habit of diagnosing myself off the internet (turns out I did not have cancer the one time I had a headache). And I never, not once until I was about 12 did I give any signs that I was depressed. I was happy in front of people, I smiled, I laughed, I danced, I sang and watched movies and played dress-up. So there was no way he, or anyone other than myself would have known.

I was sad for a very long time before the pain became increasingly worse. The first time I self harmed I was 12, and I had a friend at the time (we’d met online) who self harmed too and at first I was the one trying my best to be there for her and support her and we’d talk everyday after school (we both lived in Joburg, and had mutual friends) and we’d bond over our love of Hayley Kiyoko and Halsey.

And then over that period I just started to feel more depressed, worse than I ever had before. I cannot describe it in any other way than my soul hurt, picture yourself being stabbed and you can feel the pain but it’s kind of numbed and dull, and that’s a fraction of how I felt. Everything was heavy, I cried a lot, didn’t want to get out bed, wasn’t hungry or was overeating, could barely bring myself to even brush my teeth, fought with my mum nearly every day. And then one day I couldn’t feel anything. And a part of me was scared, because when you are that young or any age for that matter there are few things worse than being numb. You don’t care about yourself, you don’t care about people, you don’t care about the world.

And so the first time I cut myself I did it to feel something.

Times after that were either to feel or to get rid of an urge.

And if you’re wondering what urges are like, from a poem I wrote “A hot fiery, sense consuming urge to rip myself to shreds because I didn’t want to breathe.”

 

What is the first step in the road to recovery?

I will be the first person to admit that I don’t talk about recovery often because I still have a lot of days where I feel like recovery isn’t an option for me and I’m not going to go into much detail because I am still figuring this out.

But I will say the first step, for me at least, was admitting and understanding that the way I was and was feeling and what I was doing to myself physically, emotionally and mentally wasn’t okay.

Step two, this wasn’t the order in which I did it but the order in which I wish I had, was realising that recovery doesn’t happen overnight. You might relapse, more than once (I have), medication won’t suddenly fix your problems nor will rehab, recovery looks different to everyone and recovery doesn’t just start outwards but inwards as well. Recovery is not linear there are high and lows and in-betweens, and you are allowed to feel hopeless and miserable and hate everything about yourself  BUT YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO STAY THAT WAY. Don’t you dare stay that way.

The rest of the journey is different for everyone. Coping tips help. Therapy helps. Youtube helps. The right people help. Medication helps.

 

Do you hide your scars?

It depends. Fresh cuts are never seen by anyone until they are healed because that’s potentially triggering. But the scars on my arms I don’t hide and I still wear shorts despite my heavily scarred thigh. And at the end of the day whether or not you show your scars is up to you, but they are nothing to be ashamed of. Everybody copes differently and at the end of the day that is how you coped and nobody has any right to make you feel bad about that, a big F*UCK YOU to anybody who makes you feel anything less beautiful because of your scars.

There are ways of hiding your scars and still wearing short sleeves and shorts, and at some point maybe I’ll write a list that I hope you use for the right reasons because I understand what it’s like to have people judge you and have to listen to comments about your trauma like it’s the next bit of celebrity gossip (which is wrong btw).

Hide them if you want, but please get help. If not for yourself, then for me, the girl on the internet writing this who has been there and continues to go there but is trying really hard not to.

You are an incredible being, you don’t deserve to hate yourself, and I will love you until you are ready to love yourself and continue to do so after.

I write for you, nobody else.

What advice would you give someone in the same mental state you were in when you began to self harm?

Talk to someone even if it’s not your parents.My friends were amazing to me and they supported me when I couldn’t support myself but if that isn’t an option for you, there are resources. My DMs and email are always open. I promise you I will not think you’re a nuisance, or a bother or irritating or any of the other irrational things your mind is telling you right now. I have a disorder that causes my mood to change so frequently I could be at an ultimate low and wouldn’t message anyone because I’d be manic pretty soon, and please DON’T DO WHAT I DO. It’ll pass yes, but in that moment when you feel low, I don’t want you to scroll through your contact list and feel like you have nobody to call or message.

I can tell you the number of times a friend has told me they were sad/ depressed/ considering self harm/suicide/ having an urge/ anxious/confused and I’ve turned them away:

ZERO!

And I can guarantee that number will stay at zero for as long as I am breathing.

Find people to support you, even if it’s people who don’t know you. I watched so much Youtube back then and even now I have a folder called for the bad days full of videos, I watched Dodie, Jenna Alexis, Zannah, Isabel. Find people who make you feel like you’re not alone, make you smile (even if you’re not ready to get out of bed yet).

Start a blog. Walk around barefoot. Draw. Rip paper to shreds. Organise your books according to colour.

DON’T WATCH ANYTHING TRIGGERING ON PURPOSE. Stay the hell away from searching self harm accounts, watching videos of people talking about stays in psych wards (if you think it’ll trigger you), showing self harm, anything that could trigger you needs to be kept very far away from you.

I used to watch those because a part of me enjoyed feeling sick, feeling bad, feeling like the trash of the planet, a part of me couldn’t imagine a day where I didn’t want to die and so I’d watch those on purpose IT DOESN’T HELP.

I know you don’t want to feel alone, I know you want to feel understood, but there are ways that aren’t going to hurt you emotionally and mentally.

What support should be provided for vulnerable young people?

  1. Therapy needs to be made more affordable and more accessible and so does medication
  2. Mental health needs to be talked at in school(NOT JUST ONCE A YEAR) and at home
  3. We need to do more to listen and support instead of judging
  4. Encourage people to talk about their feelings, say no to toxic masculinity, say no to the idea of perfection
  5. We need to stop making people feel more broken than they already feel.

What should you do if a friend is self-harming?

I’d say research what self harm is and why people self harm, try to understand why people self harm and then taking what you’ve learnt speak to your friend and ask them what’s going on. It’s not always going to be this big event that caused them to feel this way. Listen, try to understand, support them in the best way you know how and I don’t mean smother them with advice or force them to go out.

Be there for them. Show them the love they can’t give themselves at the moment. Don’t be judgmental, don’t make them feel guilty, don’t give them ultimatums or expect them to go into recovery overnight.

And I’m going to be 100% honest with you, sometimes telling an adult or their parents does more bad than good and other times telling them does more good than bad. And it differs in every situation, so really it’s up to you to decide but whatever your choice is you need to try your best to make sure that your friend is going to get the support they need.

If you have any more questions leave them in the comments, it’s kind of hard to trigger me so don’t worry about asking anything personal.

xxxChips