Molly on the edge

Molly on the edge

Hello everyone! I am Molly, Lucy’s cousin. I’m a 22 year old young woman who has found herself ‘teetering on the edge’ far too many times. This has sometimes been a good thing as its forced me to think but sometimes it’s completely overwhelming.
When Lucy asked me if I wanted to write something for her blog, I instantly thought how? She has so much life experience and is very relatable. As in her first post, I am taking the plunge in the hope I can reduce the stigma attached to mental health and I will use this as a platform to help others. So here is my story on how I’ve been teetering on the edge.

Growing up I experienced depression and anxiety. However I didn’t completely understand what it was then. Since my adolescent years I just thought it was a part of growing up. I was told I wasn’t depressed and I was just unhappy. Family and friends would put it down to the fact I was scared about the future. I mean there are so many expectations of people these days. I would sit and think to myself, how will I ever buy a house, get a good job, earn lots of money, have a family and travel. It has taken me a good few years to understand that unless you are happy none of that really matters.

 

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Me as a bub without a care in the world

 

This time last year I was teetering on the edge of leaving an environment where I was completely comfortable. It was to make the move to somewhere completely new; Edinburgh. 6 whole hours away from friends, family and a job I was good at, to start all over again.

People would ask me; why Edinburgh? Surely you could move somewhere closer? But you have everything here in Peterborough? This is when I would explain to them that being out of my comfort zone and teetering on the edge is how I grow and I was adamant it was the right thing to do. So I said goodbye to my first love in order to do something I had ALWAYS wanted to.

When I first moved I took everything in my stride, I would meet cool people and have amazing experiences. A few months after moving things started to go downhill. I would constantly think to myself, were they right? Was this the wrong thing to do? This is when I became really depressed. I would sit in the house by myself, even showering, eating and sleeping became impossible. After driving myself insane deciding whether I was going to move back to my comfort zone Peterborough again, I realised I needed to think about and accept a few things.

Firstly, I understood that my depression was making me feel this way and in fact I wasn’t helping myself. After a few tearful facetimes to loved ones and some reckless nights out, I decided I would move back home. Once making the decision it was as if everything just suddenly seemed better. I was socialising more and started to see the positives of the world.

Before, it felt as if the eyes of the world were blind and I was stood right there in front of everyone but only I could see me. Now I feel like the whole fucking world can see me. I was here and I owned it! Reflecting on how I was feeling and how I had been teetering on the edge, I learnt that I wasn’t feeling better because I had decided to move back home, I was feeling better because I accepted that I was not OK. I’d started to embrace everything I was and this forced to communicate so much more about my mental health. I realised that moving back would not solve anything and that no matter where I was in the world I would still have these issues, I decided to tackle them head on. Don’t get me wrong, I have my dark day and it’s taken me a good few years to understand that pleasing others is such hard work and you compromise yourself in doing so. Communication is the best medicine and opportunities like this make your fingers want to write for days.F

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Taking life by the horns and living it.

 

I guess what I am trying to say is by teetering on the edge, it has sometimes enabled me to make the best decisions ever and sometimes the worst. But I am a 22-year-old young woman who will not live by the unrealistic expectations of others. I might not live my life how others would expect or want, but I am happy and I really don’t care. Growing is just about taking the plunge and just thinking to yourself fuck it. Just take each day as it comes and never overlook anything you do. I treat myself sometimes for having a shower each day and eating properly because sometimes that can be truly impossible.

I hope that this post helps others to talk and realise that there are all different types of people that experience mental health issues but all in very different ways. Look after yourselves and just think to yourself fuck it! I tell myself this on a daily basis and it seems to get me through the day.

 

Eyeliner on the School Run

Eyeliner on the School Run

Up until just recently I was a commuting working mum. A mum who dropped her kids off with an amazing childminder 4 days a week, hopped on a train and worked in an office with other nice adults. Rather than a freelance, working from home, trying to juggle a jelly, a peeled banana and a nappy with a turd in, working at home mum. Obviously, not technically those particular objects but trying to juggle housework, mumming, actual real life paid design work and this funny old world of blogging.

 Even as I sit at my kitchen table trying to write this while the littlest one naps I can hear him stirring from his sleep MUCH earlier than normal and I am about to lose my precious window of writing. I am being an awful mum, ignoring the noise and hoping he might go back to sleep. Please don’t call social services on me for letting him whinge for 10 minutes, I just really want to write at least 10 sentences. He probably has a massive shit in his nappy and that’s why he is moaning. He’s been in bed for an hour and 48 minutes, which is an acceptable nap time but I was counting on him having at least 2 hours so I could write this.

Any way life as a freelance mama is much harder than I imagined. I am pretty organised, I’ve always been good at managing my time. When I worked in an office and managed a team, I was always good at time management and helping them manage theirs. I have never been a ‘leave it until the last minute and then work really late’ kind of person. I was always on top of stuff so there was never any stress. I really bloody hate stress, stress doesn’t suit me. I’m an arsehole when I’m stressed.

Working at home while trying to manage 3 boys, cooking meals, grocery shopping, keeping my house tidy (and occasionally clean), homework, families, friendships, staring at my phone, exercise, box sets, drinking wine, having fun and sleeping (phew I think that’s it?!) is much, much harder than I thought it would be and my time management is now poor, very poor. Somehow after everything gets done I’m left with approximately 43 minutes to get anything done for myself. Then I just feel pissed off.

But there is one thing that really helps me tackle all of the above and it is getting properly ready every morning. By properly ready I mean shower, hair washed and dried, and make up. I have to wash my hair otherwise I get greasy stringy fringe, which is quite frankly unacceptable. The only exception to this rule is on a Saturday when I have 8am boot-camp. To be honest though, even then I manage a bit of make-up because without concealer and blusher I look like a heroin addict.

I don’t do it for anyone but myself. It makes me feel like I can tackle life. It stops me from teetering on the edge. Over the years I have had a bit of grief about it too. My family were always making digs as to how long it takes me to get ready…. ‘well we will probably be late as Lucy has to do her face’. Can I just categorically state now that it takes me 30 minutes to get ready, shower and hair included. If I’m really stuck for time I can do it in 20. I can hear you saying well you could use that extra half an hour to do something productive? But by getting ready it makes me about 10 times more productive.

As I mentioned before, until recently I have always got ready to go to an office, and it’s the getting ready bit that I miss the most. That and my nice quiet train journey where no-one asks me for anything and I can read a book and gather my thoughts. So, this getting ready for an office each day is part of my routine, but this time I’m getting ready for the school run, playgroup or sitting at my tiny Ikea desk. I still apply that blusher and eyeliner. Without it I don’t feel like me. A lot of mummy bloggers and influencers talk about the power of a bright lip detracting from tired eyes and I’m so in that camp, but for me its eyeliner. I love a bright lip, but it’s not essential to my confidence and sanity. On the school run the other day someone asked me what time I got up as my hair and makeup must take so long. I get up at 7am on school mornings and I think that’s pretty ok isn’t it? When I went back to work after having Jesse my alarm would go off at 5.45 so I could get everything done, and everyone fed and watered. But I did it as that’s what made me capable of managing the day. I needed that 30 minutes of getting ready time.

For me the power of makeup isn’t about vanity, worrying about how you look to others. It’s about how it makes you feel. After I had Charlie and we were in hospital for a while, as the days went on and we both started to feel better I started to put some makeup on again.

It is just the same as your dressing style. Or your choice of footwear. I’ve got many friends who are shorter and always wear a heel. No one questions it, it’s just what they do. If wearing red lipstick to a meeting with your directors makes you feel more confident about presenting then good for you. If wearing eyeliner on the school run makes me feel like I can manage my day better, then good for me. If wearing any makeup makes you feel uncomfortable then that’s fine too. Or if you would prefer an extra half an hour in bed, go for it.

During mental health week, there was a campaign called #howcanihelp and many people were asked to list all the things that kept them going, helped them keep their balance in this crazy world, whether they had mental health problems or not. I listed mine and I totally forgot to put ‘putting my game face on’ We can’t underestimate the power of makeup or belittle it as it seems vain. The benefits it can give to someone’s confidence and mental wellbeing are endless. If you are ever feeling a bit crappy about yourself I can’t recommend a little swipe of a mac lipstick (my fav is tropic tonic if you are interested) or a swish of bobbi brown everlasting gel eyeliner, coffee is my shade on this, black is a bit harsh in my old age 😉 But like I said we are all different.IMG_5644

Check out the chunk

 An attempt to get all three boys in a school run selfie