The End!

It’s the last day of Movember!  Well, it was, a few minutes ago.  Time for me to ceremoniously shave/scrub off the Mo for another year.  Please feel free to donate a quid or two to Rethink (see below for links) and rest assured i didn’t get murdered by the moral majority.  Hoorah!

Day 29

Day 29: i was stuck in bed ill all day, but a few of you may see what i was trying to do here (hint: HAHAHAHA, HAHAHAHA!)

Day 30 [i]

Day 30: The Bitter End!  Say it with flowers — even if they kept falling off all day and i found one in my tea earlier this evening and one in me knickers just now.  Sigh.

Day 30!

Still day 30: so hard to say goodbye!

Fearsomely unflattering but i think it important that you see the flowers properly, heh.

You can find out more about Rethink here and you can donate to them via my frankly baffling antics here and here:

http://www.justgiving.com/Mina-Candy

Until we meet again… goodbye!

Published in: on 01/12/2015 at 12:21 am  Leave a Comment  

Days 26-28

Day 26

Day 26: more colour co-ordinating.  I must be getting middle-aged.

Day 27

Day 27: very smart if i do say so myself

Day 28

Day 28: I’m always cross when i have to wash my hair

Nearly there now!

Published in: on 01/12/2015 at 12:09 am  Leave a Comment  

Do we really need a subject line?

Here is photographic proof from the last couple of days that i’m still as unselfconscious and spectacularly oblivious as ever:

Day 24

Day 24: annoyed about something — Disapproving Librarian Face

Day 25

Day 25: actually very annoyed after a shit time in Lidl, but i’d calmed down by this point. Their cheap wine may have helped.

Don’t forget, you can fritter away that money you’d been saving for important things like organic houmous and over-priced coffee on a donation to Rethink instead — hop over here for instructions:

http://www.justgiving.com/Mina-Candy

Published in: on 25/11/2015 at 11:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

Day 23: Sunday Best

Day_22

Published in: on 23/11/2015 at 4:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Nearly there now…

Only a week to go (i’m getting zits around my nose!)

Day 19

Day nineteen: why isn’t it the weekend yet?

Day 20

Day twenty: seriously, where’s this bloody weekend hiding?

Day 21

Day twenty-one: smartened up ready to go to the pictures with me Mum

It’s been a long week!  Even though i wasn’t working on Monday and was on a training course on Tuesday, so what’s that about eh?

Remember, you can donate to Rethink via my face-art here:

http://www.justgiving.com/Mina-Candy

 

Published in: on 21/11/2015 at 4:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Week in Moustacheminster

Day 12

Day twelve: i don’t know about the curtains and the carpet, but the ‘tache matches the jumper today, quite by happy accident

Day 13

Day thirteen: this was supposed to be inspired by someone famous but it’s a few days later now and i can’t remember who

Day 14

Day fourteen: a London Flowergirl

Day 15

Day fifteen: it’s pink dammit. People asked all day why i was wearing a red moustache and was it because i’m a commie bastard?  (Answers: it’s pink.  And yes.)

Day 16

Day sixteen: not quite starry-eyed, but not far off (i missed, i suppose)

Day 17

Day seventeen: hello?  Is it tea you’re looking for?

Day 18

Day eighteen: thought i’d better give it a comb.

Published in: on 18/11/2015 at 9:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

Nine ten eleven…

My apologies for the sporadic uploading of pictures and for the lack of blog post yet.  Where does the time keep going eh?!  Anyway, here are the many faces of the last few days and i will return with words very soon.

Day 9

Day nine: it was a bad day and i didn’t go out at all. Thinking about it, this is probably a good thing, especially so close to Armistice Day because, er… well, look at it. Oops!

Day 10

Day 10: now the school kids are starting to notice, which means yelling “is that real?” is of course necessary. (Hint — IT’S BLUE.)  (Sorry, i know you can’t really tell though, what with poor picture quality.)

Day 11 [i]

Day eleven: the ticket man at the station was so taken with it this morning, he completely forgot to check my ticket. “French!” was about all he could muster. I’m still slightly puzzled by this remark — as you can see.

Remember, as well as for your amusement, it’s also for a very good cause and, rest assured, i will bend your ear (eye?) at far greater length in due course about that. In the mean time you could have a look at Rethink‘s web site, as this is the charity to which your pennies will be winging their way, then ponder the possibilities over at my fundraising page:

http://www.justgiving.com/Mina-Candy

Published in: on 11/11/2015 at 10:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

More moustache! Many moustache!

Here we go, yesterday’s and today’s ‘taches — taken by The Lovely Hester — and a bonus one from day 3 which i’d forgotten about till just now — taken by a lovely, no-longer-surprised-by-anything work colleague.

This one was taken on day three: me and my shoulderpads, hard at work for the NHS (god bless).

This one was taken on day three: me and my shoulderpads, hard at work for the NHS (god bless).

Getting ready for an 'enchanted wood' themed party last night, so i added green glitter. Obviously.

Day seven: getting ready for an ‘enchanted wood’ themed party last night, so i added green glitter. Obviously.

Day 7 [ii]

Time for my close-up. Nice ‘tache — shame about the face.

Day 8

Day eight: because lopsided and somewhat the worse for wear is how i feel on the inside.

Thank you LOADS to those of you who’ve donated so far!  If you’re still thinking about it, have a listen to this song which my line manager has very kindly provided, then have a trot over here:

http://www.justgiving.com/Mina-Candy

Proper blog post will follow tomorrow, promise!

Published in: on 08/11/2015 at 8:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

It’s November and that can only mean…

…that, disorganised as i have been (to be fair i’ve had a house move, among other things) i haven’t yet put up any photos or any blog posts on men’s mental health and/or just why i’m being so bloody weird, yet again, to get you to part with a tiny bit of your hard earned cash.

I will do the latter on Sunday evening (or possibly Monday morning) but before that, here are ‘taches 1-6 for your perusal.  All feedback welcomed.  Yes, even ones on how to better groom my facial embellishment.

Day one

Day one – what? Why are you looking at me like… oh, yeah, fair enough.

Day two

Day two – it’s blue, for Blue Monday.

Day three

Day three – a cad and a bounder

Day four - upping the stakes

Day four – upping the stakes

Day five - grrrr

Day five – grrrr

Still day five, but a bit closer up - look, it's purple felt-tip pen today - what's not to love?

Still day five, but a bit closer up – look, it’s purple felt-tip pen today – what’s not to love?

Day six - foliage, dear boy, foliage.

Day six – foliage, dear boy, foliage.

If you feel this warrants a few quid towards Rethink Mental Illness, yet, please feel free to drop them in the pot here:

http://www.justgiving.com/Mina-Candy

Published in: on 06/11/2015 at 3:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

All Change, Please: Recovery (sort of) and Recovery Stories

Breaking with what seems to have become a tradition of NOT updating my blog, i thought today i might talk about recovery from mental illness.  Perhaps not everyone who does recover actually has a recovery story.  Maybe most people don’t, really.  It’s rarely that simple after all and, if you’re like me, it probably just isn’t an obvious or discrete period in your life.  It just… happens.

Today, i don’t feel like i’m an “ill person”.  In fact my Mum remarked the other day that she doesn’t see me as someone who’s ill, now; and to my initial surprise, i absolutely agreed with her.  I’m not sure i could accurately describe myself as “well” either, but somewhere over the past year, dog knows how or or why or when, i seem to have found myself on the scale of normality.

youneedhelp

Before you or anyone starts on with that “oh, but what IS normal?” bullshit, please save your breath to cool the porridge of your own uncomprehending thoughtlessness.  I am certainly not the only one who can very easily tell you what normal ISN’T: mental distress involves all manner of fun stuff, including (but not limited to) severe eating disorder behaviours; self-injury and self-harm; drinking yourself into a stupor of memory blanks; waking up in a police station in some far-flung part of town you’ve never been to before early on a Monday morning with no recollection of getting there; waking up to a messed-up kitchen covered in empty wrappers every fucking day; feeling completely worthless and hateful all the bastarding time; regularly stepping out into the road in the vague hope you might get hit by a car; shoplifting shit you don’t want or need at least a dozen times a day with no desire to do it and no idea why you’re doing it; feelings of complete lack of control and inability to trust yourself to do or not do ANYTHING; feeling so depressed you physically, bafflingly, can’t move; not being able to leave the house for days or weeks on end; wishing yourself dead but not having the energy or motivation to actually do anything about it and being really fucked off waking up in the morning because you haven’t died in your sleep — these are but a few examples.

Approximately a year ago all this, and worse, was me.  Today i am not like that at all.  Like i said, i don’t think i can actually call myself “well” either, but i DO think i am finally just like most people: a mundane life, full of petty grievances and irresolvable frustrations; i still get pointlessly angry over stupid, unimportant little things about which i can’t do anything; things are not amazing; i’m usually tired, cross and feel generally unwell in some non-specific way; every day is a struggle and i still have seriously shitty days when i binge eat, maybe make myself throw up, drink myself into a stupor or whatever; i still feel like i never have full control over my thoughts/actions and don’t feel able to trust myself; i still catch myself wanting to lose all the weight i’ve gained and i ALWAYS want a drink; i still have anxiety, which is sometimes incapacitating, but not always; etc etc etc.  I’m still lonely and sad and i still tend to isolate myself, because yeah, i’m still eye-rollingly socially awkward — things do not change overnight and these are habits/fears to be broken and gradually overcome, i suppose.  There’s a lot that’s still wrong, or not quite right, but it’s no longer constant, no longer all-day-every-day, no longer overwhelming and all-pervading.

Yeah, there’s still plenty of shit i don’t want, but all this is just called LIFE, innit?  It’s all right.  I don’t mind it really.  I enjoy my job in a FE college even though it’s only temporary and, although i don’t have much of a ‘life’ yet (after the turbulence of the last couple of decades, it’s time to rebuild it) i also don’t have much to worry about.  I’d imagine it’s approximately the same for most people who aren’t actually seriously mentally ill or in some other kind of real trouble, along a sliding scale that doesn’t include the extremes any more.

The other day i went out with someone new (a sort of date?  It was such a nice, ordinary thing to do on a day off work, i could hardly believe it was really happening.  It went all right, thanks.  No idea yet if we’ll see each other again, though it’s been a few days with no word so i suspect not.  But i digress) and my usual thinking for many years upon meeting someone new has been that, uh-oh, i’d better let them know about all this bonkers stuff as it’s only fair to let them know what a bloody nutter i am and what they’re potentially letting themselves in for.  Y’know, put them off ASAP, because it’s not like i’m likeable or worthwhile and they’ll realise this before long, so why prolong anything?  In fact i’m like that with people i already know — like i have a duty to update them or something, because when they say, “Hi, how are you?” that’s what they’re expecting.  Pity The Poor Mental.  Because what else have i got to talk about?

But actually, now, maybe that’s not what i’m all about.  There might be more to me than that!  Maybe i don’t have to justify or even explain myself to anyone and maybe i no longer have to tell new people either, because it’s kind of in the past and i don’t have an obligation to dredge that up now because… well, maybe it’s not really relevant.  Just maybe, when someone asks, i can just say, like everyone else does, “Fine thanks. You?” — and mean it, because that’s the truth today.  Now there’s a strange and unfamiliar concept to get my head around.

Because i am fine, thanks for asking.  I’m not awesome, i’m not deliriously happy; who the hell is?   For the record, treatment didn’t help me in the slightest.  All those so-called professionals and their patronising pity and/or their patient-blaming, all those friends/acquaintances telling me what a terrible/weak person i am, all that self-disgust and abject rage that i just can’t seem to control my own actions and my inner of cries of, “FOR FUCK’S SAKE, how hard can it be?”, and all the rest of it, all that stuff neither spurred me on nor did it break me.  I don’t love myself or my body or my life or whatever we Empowered Survivors are supposed to do.  I’ve long been utterly indifferent to myself and to my appearance, because i’m a fucking normal middle aged woman, not some fictitious, leaping image of youth trying to sell you tampons.  I do accept myself though, most of the time.  And as i said right at the beginning, i don’t have a recovery story to share with sufferers, much as i wish i had.  No, there was no miraculous emergence from my cocoon, no spreading of beautiful butterfly wings: my life has not transformed into something exemplary.  I’m merely fine, like everyone else.  I’m ordinary.  Which, in its own, really grey, very unexciting kind of way, is pretty extraordinary.  It’ll take some getting used to, but perhaps this is Early Recovery and the next chapter in my life — and actually, that IS awesome, if you think about it.