Don’t Tell Me

There are two things in the world that my brain lets happen uncontrollably…

1. As soon as a newborn baby cries on One Born Every Minute something triggers in me and I cry hysterically even though I don’t feel any real emotion towards what I’m watching.

2. Having to ask a certain person to do something or for something causes my chest to hurt and I struggle to breathe.

The first is some kind of weird maternal thing that is ridiculous but quite funny. The second is anxiety.

I am lucky in the sense that there is now only one real trigger for my anxiety and generally I can keep myself distanced from it so therefore no longer consider myself as “having anxiety”. Some people aren’t so lucky.

Other people’s perceptions of your mental health can have a real impact and add to the struggle. Public opinion is always a huge factor in what my ladies worry about when I’m doing my mental health volunteer work. Friends and family think they are saying the right things but can often make you feel worse. Here is a list of what not to say.

Don’t tell me….

  • To Suck it up/cheer up/relax/calm down

The fact you think I aren’t currently trying to do all these things at once while everything else is whirring around in my brain shows you have no idea how I feel.

  • There are worse things going on in the world

I know! But that doesn’t make the way I am feeling any easier. A lot of my thoughts are irrational, things that you might think are mundane and trivial can feel like the end of the world to me. I know that what I am thinking or the way I’m acting isn’t normal yet that doesn’t mean I can rationalise my thoughts.

  • You can’t feel lonely, you have lots of friends

It is hard to connect to others while you are suffering. It is hard to gather the energy to meet with friends and do fun things. It is hard to talk about the way you are feeling. It is hard to explain that your friends haven’t done anything wrong but that they need to bear with you.

  • To go for a run/a drink/to try a new hobby

Yes for some people these things work but they aren’t the cure for everyone. Exercise can make you feel great but if you can’t muster the energy to lift your head off your pillow your hardly going to run a metre let alone a mile and I’ve gin cried plenty of times when I haven’t been depressed to know that it isn’t a great option.

  • But you managed to go to ????? the other day

Yes and I may go somewhere else tomorrow, but if at that time on that day my mind is telling me I can’t possibly go anywhere with whoever it’s practically impossible to do so.

  • What do you have to be anxious/depressed about?

The official measure of mental well-being has 51 different points and triggers of depression/anxiety. Each of these is a subsection leading to various aspects of each category meaning there can be thousands of triggers,fears and worries for each individual. Some of which could be seen as ridiculous to others. So the answer to the question is absolutely everything and nothing at all.

  • Oh I have that sometimes

Feeling a bit sad or anxious isn’t the same as the crippling reality of depression and anxiety. I get a nervous tummy before going to new places or doing new things, it’s not the same as the weeks/months of pure panic some people have. The fear of letting people down or missing out can take over their lives.

My only advice on what you can say is… “is there anything I can do to help you with this?” And not be offended if the answer is no. Be patient not pushy.

To my friends who are suffering at the moment…don’t be afraid to talk, not all the cures are in conversation but always know you don’t have to go through it alone


I have always loved writing. I wasn’t always very good at it.

I’m not sure if you’ve ever been to or watched a Mortified evening. It’s where people “perform” their teen diaries and share the horror that they’ve wrote in their journals. After watching it gave me inspiration to drag out my “books”, a series of diary/scrapbooks that I made throughout my teen years where I wrote song lyrics, drew pictures and short diary entries.The cringe is unreal but actually very funny to read. Apparently it’s cathartic to share so here goes…..

Pink Book, date unknown. Names changed obviously!

I am in love with Owen. It’s Lucy’s birthday and I’m drunk (no shit!) but I know I love him. More than vodka and chocolate, maybe even more than music and movies (yet obviously not enough to stop me from leaving him for his friend a year later) I don’t like counting days so it has been a while since I have seen him but it was only for one night and I was soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo (!!!!) tired and it really wasn’t enough but he’ll be home at the end of the week hooray. When I see Richard out I don’t bat an eyelid, I talk to him if I have to but never really think about what he’s saying (refer back to the post about ex boyfriend who left me because I was pissed off he had sleepovers with his ex, no wonder seeing him didn’t bother me) but when me and Owen broke up before I missed him so much it was unbelievable. I hung on everything he said when he said he still liked me I was shocked but very happy I miss him now when I’m at home doing nothing I wish he was here doing something with me and I know what (waaahhh all that cringe!) when I see couples out together I want it to be us, everything makes me think of him I think this means I’m in love

The lack of punctuation is sending me over the edge! The boy in question was one that I kept being drawn back to and then continued to treat terribly. Surprisingly he does still speak to me. He is a good person.

If you think that’s bad another entry is where I think I’m terribly clever and use a description of a classroom as a metaphor for my life. I’ll share the emo, over dramatic ending

Blue Book, date unknown

You would think that in a time such as this, of war (must have forgotten that period of my teenage years where I time traveled to 1940) I would be grateful for the safety of this town but I want out. I can’t do this life. I want something new

And finally a verse of a song I wrote considering I couldn’t write or play music, my songwriting career never quite took off and judging by the quality of this it’s a good job it didn’t.

“This is the one dedicated to, all of the boys and specifically you.

I think we’re suited but who’s to say, for all I know you could be gay”

We weren’t, he wasn’t!

So do it, find your teen diaries and share the shit out of them. There is nothing more pleasing then looking back at the loser you once were.

And So The Streetlights Would Carry Us Home….

For years people have written about their hometowns, in poetry and songs, setting scenes in novels based on the place they grew up. I thought it was time I wrote about my own.

My friends know I’m slightly obsessed with city lights and city life. I love Newcastle and Leeds and London especially on a night-time but I am now, after so many years obsessed with the place I live.

Until recently when I have met new people I have almost seemed apologetic about Whitby, I’ve felt embarrassed that we are pretty much cut off from the rest of the country, of all the things that we don’t have on our doorstep.

But as I have got older I have realised the importance of all the things we do have. I know I’m not alone in the fact that I can call my town, slag off anything I don’t like about it but am ridiculously offended if anybody else dares to do so.

The greatest thing about a small town is that it comes with a huge extended fake family, possibly why it is sometimes called incestuous. Everyone pretty much knows everyone, which isn’t always a good thing until something goes wrong for one of us.

Our community will rally round to fundraise, offer support, stand alongside families that have been wronged, that have been suffering, that have had loss. We are proud of our own, of singers and sportsmen and women, of the many fantastic local businesses and services all created and grown in our little town.

And it’s ok to be a teenager, pissed off that there’s nowhere to buy trainers or to watch a new release at the cinema, we’ve all been there – imagine how bad it was before online shopping, we all bought the same outfit for a night out because we only had a choice of 3 dresses!!!! it’s ok that everyone knows your business, that everyone will probably have a story about you. I’ve been there, embarrassed that my relationship break down was so public, that my ex boyfriend cheated on me and left me.

All of it is worth it for that overwhelming sense of community. The people are as wonderful as the town itself.

To Whitby, a small drinking town with a fishing problem and all the amazing people who make it what it is.

Colin the Caterpillar is getting married and I’m still single!

…EDIT…title change before someone has a coronary!!! Sorry!

My Sister got engaged to the love of her life at the weekend and I’ve had to bite my tongue every day since. Not because of their engagement of course, but because people are continually asking me if I’m upset by it.

My sister is 8 years younger than me, she is beautiful and has just settled into her first home. I am a 33 year old single mum who’s never been a homeowner or someone’s fiancé. Yet I have never been jealous of her one day of my life. I think being sisters the lines blur…if she’s happy I’m happy and if I’m happy then she’s happy.

Here are the reasons people assume I am unhappy about the engagement.

  1. I am lonely. What is that saying about being alone but not lonely. Yeah thats me. I don’t know how many times people need to hear that I do not need a boyfriend but it doesn’t seem to be going in.
  2. I thought I would get married first. To who??? My ex? a new love? The invisible f**king man?? I love a wedding (because I love fashion and flowers and food and making everything look fantastic) but I’ve never aspired to marriage. I’m not anti-getting hitched but I’ve never obsessed over it.
  3. I never wrote on my sisters engagement status on Facebook. Blah blah blah!!!! To the person who trawled through 111 comments to see if I’d wrote anything here’s your answer. I didn’t comment. I had spoke to her before it was Facebook announced. I’d already made it clear how excited I was. I was out partying, I had 25% battery left on my phone and didn’t want 111 notifications draining what was left! Haha
  4. I’ve been sad this week. Without too much detail, The end of August is tough for me. The anniversaries of losing 4 amazing people fall in the same week and I think that means I’m allowed to feel a little bit rubbish.

So here’s how I actually feel…. Nicole and Jamie, I am over the moon that you are now engaged. I am happy that you have found each other and are planning the most perfect life. I am excited to be part of a wedding (I can scan through 40,000 photos of wedding stationery now without feeling like a weirdo). I am sorry that I said “do I have to be a Bridesmaid?” as if it was the worst thing in the world. I promise not to take over but know that I will Instagram the fuck out of everything slightly wedding-y we do in the next 2 years and will tag you in every Rock-n-Roll bride post that I see before your wedding.

Congratulations on your engagement!

“Cause I know there is strength in the differences between us and I know there is comfort where we overlap”

Of Course Sometimes Shit Goes Down When it’s 12 Thousand Dollars and a Trashy Parent*

*No explanation needed! If you know, you know! 

What do you want more than anything else in the world? Health, wealth, happiness? Love or a lottery win? World peace or a Cartier ring? 

Current mood: furious with everyone and everything! Prepare for some shade….

I am bored with bragging. I am tired of people choosing finance, extravagance and showing off over the things that really matter.

I have spoke before about “insta-lives” and how it’s hard to know what is real or fake on social media. I struggle so much some days when people are posting about their amazing lives/jobs/kids/husband. Today is one of those days, mundane (current sitch: hungover, sprawled on the sofa, watching Ab Fab, 10 fucking stone heavier after a diet of Boosts and Monster Munch) and seeing exotic holidays, glam purchases and meals in fancy restaurants is enough to push me to the edge. 

I’m pretty sure I do it too. I post about the free shit that I get, the amazing days out we get to have and the beautiful food we get to eat. I do however admit that my Armani jacket was £15 from work, that most of my expensive shit was free and that I spend most weekends with a serious case of FOMO wishing I was having a romantic meal with my non-existent hot boyfriend. 

When I do (if I do?) find someone to put up with me long enough to be my boyfriend/husband I would hope my Mum would spend her time “bragging” about how lovely he is, about how happy we are, about how he is a good Father and a decent person rather than how rich he is and how ridiculously extravagant my wedding will be. 

I would rather be happily sat in my Primark PJ’s binge watching 4 seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race with the people I love than be crying into my Mulberry purse because my boyfriend isn’t quite as exciting as I hoped and because I’ve pissed off 75% of the town so not enough people see my over filtered fake-book photos. 

It is true what they say money can’t buy you class or morals or a personality but stick a filter and a vignette over everything and you can pretend it does! 

Holding a Grudge 

I am a stubborn piece of shit. I will remember the smallest thing that has happened and hold onto it so tightly that it twists in my mind and grows. It gets uglier and more hurtful. 

There is a guy I hate called Dan. He once upset me on a night out, said something hurtful and mean………..ok, so I can’t actually remember what it was that he said or even what it was related to but I remember that I hate him and that’s stuck. That’s how petty I can be. 

I’ve said before that I have a little bit of a playground mentality when it comes to friendship, you have to pick sides, it’s them or me. 

Once upon a time I had a friend. At my lowest point I felt she picked the other side, went against me. She had to, blood is thicker than water and all that shit. I get that now. She didn’t understand my “pick a side” rule, she just wanted to be friends with everyone but I couldn’t deal with that. I was selfish but I had to be, it was the only way I could stop myself from becoming even more hurt. It didn’t matter how much we got along, how much we had in common, I cut her off completely. I sent blunt replies (with an awful lot of F words in) to her partner who messaged to tell me how upset she was. As I said this was my lowest point, I didn’t care how anyone else felt apart from me and my kids. 

As the years passed the hurt healed, the disappointed and embarrassment, the upset that changed our lives faded (and /or was replaced by more hate for other reasons) yet I still couldn’t speak to that friend. Sometimes you hold onto hurt so closely that it feels hard to let it go. 

Then for the first time in my life I felt it was time to forgive, the reason we spoke at first was for practically. There is a guy somewhere who had to transfer 4p into his exs bank account just so he could send her a message as she had blocked him on everything else. We were one step away from that, having to DM on twitter to make arrangements 

We will probably never be best friends, in fact she will probably never even read this as I’m pretty sure I still have her blocked on all social media (sorry!) but the feeling of forgiveness is amazing, it makes you feel light and happy and relieved, like a weight has been lifted. 

There are people who I will never forgive for what they have done, some people’s hurt and hatred have spiralled to the point where I cannot even slightly recognise them anymore and I wouldn’t grace them with the pleasure of forgiveness,  but others….

Sometimes it is easier to forgive than it is to hold the grudge. The playground friendship rules should be left right there…in the playground. I would recommend letting go, great things can come from forgiveness. There are people, ideas, experiences you could be missing out on *

*Unless it’s Dan, Dan can piss right off!

It Just Didn’t Work Out 

Warsan Shire is my favourite female poet. Her poems of nationality and family and struggles are loved by many. Even Beyoncé used Warsan’s words on her critically acclaimed Lemonade album. When Warsan talks about “why we failed at love” in the poem above, the list is heart wrenching and beautifuly sad. I find myself relating her “excuses” to my own breakups, that end of the world feeling that we have all had when a relationship breaks down. 

The classic words “it’s not you, it’s me!” always leave you with self doubt, reasons that make you know it is in fact you. Your fault, your issues, reasons why no one will ever love you again. 

Obviously time heals the most horrible of breakups. The truth is over time someone will love you and make the excuses/reasons from before seem crazy. 

I asked my friends for their breakup stories, reasons why they were dumped, why they left their ex’s, why love didn’t last. Instead of being poetic and life affirming and heartbreaking most are simply hilarious. Thanks for your contributions and thanks to a couple of my exs (numbers 1-4 belong to you, arseholes) 

34 “New” Excuses For Why We Failed at Love

  1. His Grandma died
  2. I was too boring 
  3. I wasn’t accepting of his choices (because I had an issue with him sharing a bed with his ex)
  4. I expected too much of him (when he wouldn’t celebrate my birthday) 
  5. He didn’t want to be with someone who had children
  6. He didn’t buy valentines presents 
  7. She had a huge Minnie Mouse tattoo
  8. He cried way too much
  9. He couldn’t celebrate our anniversary because his cow had been put down.
  10. “I don’t think I can stop myself from sleeping with pretty girls”
  11. He called me Hun
  12. I didn’t have the same hobbies (gambling and weight training)
  13. He liked his car more than me
  14. “Your soul is not good enough to be loved”
  15. Because my parents were divorced and he “just hated divorce”
  16. I was too tall
  17. She was the slowest eater ever
  18. He bragged he was a “compulsive masturbator” (his words)
  19. She said “Cold Slaw”
  20. I didn’t clean a dirty mark that the dog had made on the wall
  21. I cut my hair
  22. He liked my best friend more than me
  23. She said my head was too small for my body
  24. She smelt like my mum 
  25. He had a “micro-penis”
  26. He had an ex with the same name as me and couldnt get over that
  27. I was “too forward” for saying tit in front of her mum 
  28. He didn’t want a child (yet had a baby straight away with his next girlfriend) 
  29. A psychic told her to leave me
  30. Because I was sweaty on a date 
  31. He loved me but hated how I looked
  32. “My mum thinks you have a bitchy face”
  33. He bought himself an ice cream but didn’t offer to get me one
  34. He just left one day and I never heard from him again.

I can’t see us winning Young Poet Laureate from that beauty but it’s brilliantly funny

Long Live The Queen 

Apparently there are seven stages of grief. Seven steps to go through till you feel ok again, like some kind of recipe for the biggest shit storm your little life can handle. 

stage 1 is shock and denial. When I found out you had died I was taking a bath. It took approximately one minute for me to recognise David’s voice, 3 minutes to understand what he was saying to me and what seemed like 2 seconds to get dry, dressed and start pacing the floor wondering what to do (turns out there’s nothing you can do, fuck all, it’s already too late) 

Stage 2 is pain and guilt. Cue huge amount of crying. My guilt came from the fact I am sure you did not know what impact you had on my life. I felt guilty I had never told you that speaking to you every day calmed my anger, soothed my sadness and most importantly taught me to laugh again. I felt guilty that you never knew I loved you. 

Stage 3 – Anger! This ones for me! I’m good at angry. I was furious, everything was unfair. I was livid when people comforted me, furious if they didn’t know. Angry that I was expected to work, angry that you weren’t there with me (we joked that the only way you could have some proper time off was by pegging it) more than anything I was angry that life just carried on, continued without you being in it. I argued, fought and sulked. No one was having your stuff, no one was having your job, no one was even allowed the honour of your name on their tongue unless I okayed it. 

Stage 4 – Depression. The most obvious. I thought I would be awful. My history of depression trying desperately to force its way back out. I think you’d be proud of how I shoved it back in. I was sad but I functioned. 

Stages 5,6,7 – upward turn, reconstruction, acceptance and hope. Do they really truely exist? I know you have gone yet I still don’t accept it. Although I learn to live, love and laugh again the sadness still remains. 

So it’s as easy as that. Follow these 7 simple rules and everything will be ok again!  If only!! There are no rules to grief, no plan, pattern or recipe. 2 years have passed and some days can feel as sad as the first without you. Other days I smile because I am lucky. Lucky to have had you as my friend, as brief and intense as it was. The laughs we shared still there, the in jokes and hour long phone calls. You were the most private, hilarious, caring person I knew and equally as evil as I am. 

I miss you today as much as always and tonight I’ll dance for the two of us.  

                            R.I.P CMC        

Frank Turner-Long Live the Queen