Eye Lashes

I have this horrible habit of pulling out my eyelashes.

I’m quite sensitive about it, I’ve never had wonderful lashes to begin with. I feel uncommonly proud when my eyelashes look full and I can wear mascara and feel like it’s actually being applied to something rather than stubbly little lashes.

I know it must stem from stress, all the best things do, and sometimes I can pull out three at a time. However, I also pull them out because the root of the problem is that they hurt, literally. It can just be one eyelash that is giving me grief but it. must. come. out.

It doesn’t always stop there though.

I’m not saying that I have trichotillomania because I don’t think I do and I’m not trying to take anything away from people who suffer from it either. This is why I’ve referred to it as a bad habit, which it is, it’s also one I can’t stop doing.

I get stressed and overtired easily, I get sore and dry eyes easily, I have an oily skin type and as I’ve preciously mentioned I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. I’m listing all of these things because I feel like they all contribute. I don’t get eye infections, I remove my makeup thoroughly every night, I use eyedrops regularly, I wash my face day and night and I change my pillowcases.

I don’t know why I decided to share this in a post today. It’s not something nice but it might be relatable and it’s a thing that flares up, which is I guess what prompted this. I used to do this when I was younger too and I don’t remember them hurting then, it was more of oh, I can pull these eyelashes out, weird satisfaction.

Destructive behaviour is one of my specialties.

Lizzie X

Blink

I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. Lately I haven’t had as many panic attacks, which has been really great (understatement of the year).

I was out on Sunday afternoon, with my mum, it was nearing the end of the day and we were headed home. She had driven all the way there so I offered to drive back.

I used to love driving at night time, it felt peaceful and with my music on and the window down, no matter the weather, looking out over all the lights. I felt free.

On this particular drive though all I felt was a panic attack a second before it hit.

It came out of nowhere. It happened so quickly. Blink.

It felt like an electric shock but it wasn’t electric. This shock wave passed through me, every inch of skin, every vein, every blood cell, in an instant. One minute I was driving the next I had my eyes tightly shut, my body was rigid and I could’t breathe. A wave of coldness washed through me and then my heart rate sped up.

I realised I was still driving.

I forced my eyes open and realised I was doing 20kms less than before. Cars were right near me and I don’t remember them being there before, everyone trying to get home, just like me. My hands were hurting from gripping the wheel so tightly. “Are you okay?” I couldn’t answer I just focused on breathing and keeping my eyes open.

In through the nose, out through the mouth, relax my hands, blink.

I picked up the conversation where it had ended abruptly before the panic attack and hit me and tried to continue as normal. Normal driving, normal talking, normal breathing.

It hadn’t passed, just subsided. Perhaps it was only five minutes later, maybe more, I’d gotten myself to breathe again, drive at the speed limit and I was feeling safer. Slightly. Cars were all around me, in front of me, beside me overtaking and breathing down my neck behind me. I was crouching in my seat to avoid the headlight reflections in my rear view mirror, I know I can flick it but I find that to be very disorientating because I can’t determine the distance of the cars behind me. Before I knew it I’d slowed right down. My hands were gripped so tightly around the steering wheel, my breathing was laboured and the second wave of cold anxiety and panic was washing through me.

I somehow managed to shake my shoulders, or maybe it was more of a shudder, sending movement through my body that was my own. I must have made some kind of strangled noise because I was asked if I was okay, again. Blink. I flexed my fingers and I focused on putting my foot down a little bit to get back to reasonable speed but I stayed slow so the cars would overtake me.

Thankfully not long after that my turn off came up and I slowed right down to a complete stop at the stop sign before turning onto a much quieter road and continuing into town. When I pulled over into a park I handed the keys over and got into the left-hand side of the car. Mum drove the rest of the way. Sitting in the passenger seat I was able to breathe again and try to get the feeling back in my extremities.

Blink. Blink. Blink.

Lizzie X

 

P.S I wrote most of this on Sunday night as soon as I got home, I didn’t know if I would post it but I’ve decided I would share it. I’m so sick and tired or being scared of my anxiety. So here it is in my somewhere and nowhere place for others to read and use.

Never Been Kissed

I have never been kissed.

Now before I continue, in the spirit of full disclosure, I will elaborate: I do not mean in the Drew Barrymore/Josie Geller 1999 drama way, I have never been kissed in a way that makes my heart stop and the whole world dissolves away, leaving the two of you intwined together until you come up for air and you’re left feeling light and hazy but also full and like nothing has seemed more clear.

I’m not talking about a Hollywood movie kiss, traditional or contemporary, because I know that they’re staged, they’re too perfect and they can’t be trusted. But with the help of the right music and if the actors have the right chemistry and the proper build up, you can definitely get swept up in the moment and it can feel believable.

When I read about these types of kisses (which I do because they crop up every now and then in various books I read) it feels like something that isn’t exactly 100% foreign. This is obviously because I have partaken in kisses, I have been the kisser and the kissee, so I have been in the same region but not quite there. I’ve played the game but haven’t quite reached that level. Others have regaled me with their tales however.

I believe these types of kisses can be purely lust filled but the best ones are when you connect with someone on a whole other playing field, miles from the region I’ve been in, on a secret level I haven’t managed to figure out. Because you need a teammate, an ally who’ll help you navigate your way there and for one reason (or many) I haven’t.

I can’t help but wonder if I’m being foolish and such kisses even exist or if maybe I’m better off having never been kissed but I’m still optimistic about this. After all, there are so many different types of kisses why would this be the one that everyone lies about? That would just be too cruel.

It’s almost midnight on a Wednesday night and I’ve written over 300 words about kisses because they’ve been on my mind lately. I could probably write more too, go on and list the varying types of kisses, (although being completely honest I’m not your best resource for the comprehensive list) but instead I’m going to keep and it somewhat short and sweet, like one of the types of kisses I have had, now that I’m approaching the 400 mark.

If you’ve had one of these otherworldly kisses know that I’m happy for you and please put me in touch with your intergalactic connection.

Lizzie X

Moments of the Blurry Seasons

I think there’s something kind of magical about the changing of the seasons. There’s quite literally something in the air, the air you’re breathing is changing. I like to think of them as the moments of the blurry seasons. When one season hasn’t quite finished and the other hasn’t quite started so they’re not really one or other but somehow both. It’s not really a consecutive period of time, like a week or even a few days, which is why I think of them as moments within what I’ve called the blurry seasons.

Things feel different: the wind, the air pressure, people’s moods, the temperature, people’s attitudes. Things look different: the sky, the clouds, colours. But they’re not entirely different, not yet.

I think this is a bit of an obvious thing because it’s like pointing out the difference between hot and cold but what I’m referring to are the moments between the change. Not the time when someone says, “Oh my gosh, what happened? It feels like only yesterday it was below 10°C and I was grabbing my umbrella but today it’s 38°C and I’m checking the UV rays!”, which is something I’d actually say because I burn easily and I’m constantly checking and reapplying sunscreen, and also time moves very quickly.

But I love the times in between. Or the moments.

The times when it doesn’t matter if you’ve checked the weather three times that morning and left your umbrella at home only for some sudden downpour to completely saturate you on your short afternoon outing to grab a coffee. You cannot predict what will actually happen over the duration of the day. This is even more evident during the blurry seasons. If you had grabbed your umbrella that morning the wind may likely have blown it inside out rendering it useless anyway but by the afternoon the air will be eerily still.

There’s something about these times, these moments, when you’re caught in that downpour and you just have to laugh at how absurd the weather is. You might feel annoyed at being soaking wet but if you stop to think about it, it’s just hilarious. These moments are made even better when you make eye contact with a stranger and laugh about it together, neither of you knowing who the other is or what their life is like but in that moment the two of you know exactly how hilarious the situation you’ve both found yourself in actually is and you’re able to overlook the fact that you don’t know each other and just laugh.

Sure for the rest of the afternoon you might be damp and uncomfortable (which is why I’ve now brought a spare pair of socks and a spare shirt into the office, just in case) but for the rest of the day, sometimes even longer, you have that little moment.

I like to collect those moments of the blurry seasons because I think they’re nice little moments, ones worth holding onto. Most of them involve the rain or wind to be honest but they all occur during the same unknown season, as if the seasons have blurred together and pushed one into the next month so they’re all a little bit later than usual. Or maybe they’re slightly confused too.

Lizzie X

Lemon Pips

Do you ever stop to think about your life? I do, all the time.

If you do, how do you think about it? Do you focus on the good things, the things you wouldn’t change? Do you plan ahead to try and see what your life could be and how it is that you could get there? Do you pick it apart and find all of the bad things and then realise that it’s not as easy as picking the pips out of a lemon and that you’re actually going to have to get more than your fingertips wet if you want to fix them?

(That wasn’t supposed to be a life/lemons reference, I just like lemons and getting the pips out can be annoying but a necessary thing to properly enjoy the lemon)

I’ve been trying to look at my life as a whole, which in this case means looking at the individual parts then placing them together to form my life in an abstract way and assessing how well it is. Taking its temperature, checking its reflexes, all of the usual tests. I tried to think of the individual parts as large areas and broke them down to: home life, work life, personal life (which is entirely different from home, it refers to who you are as an individual, by yourself, just you, alone) and the other part being health, meaning the parts that you can tangibly measure.

When I put them all back together I realised that they don’t measure up to a whole lot. I’ve placed a metaphorical marker on a scale of 1-10 of where my life currently sits and I feel nonplussed to say that it’s sitting at 3, maybe a 3.5 if i’m being optimistic, which I’m not exactly known for being. There are little things that I do that make me feel better, like writing this blog, and even then I have to remind myself to make time for it but I’m glad that I do. I’d like to make a point of taking steps in each area of my life to try and improve it as a whole by actively work towards them so that I can hopefully move that metaphorical marker to 4 one day, or if i’m being wild an dreaming big, a 5.

I’m not saying that I’m going to make a list and once I tick each item off I can move the marker half a point in the positive. I’m not naive enough to think that that’s all it’s going to take but it’s a good starting point. Just like 3 isn’t great but it’s a starting point, now I have somewhere to move forwards from and somewhere to look back on once I’ve made progress. Instead of just sitting here at 3 like, cool, this is my life. I will anticipate setbacks and things not going to plan while trying to keep in mind that any progress is good progress, you just have to keep at it.

I wish this post was like a pensieve for thoughts and I could take all of them and put them in these words for me to revisit later because my head feels so heavy right now. I will revisit this topic and perhaps even list some of the things in each area that I’m going to actively work towards, there will be follow up, this is just a starting point.

Lizzie X

Battling Anxiety

I think it’s such a funny turn of phrase to say battling anxiety or battling anything that isn’t physical. I automatically envision brandishing a sword to my own mind in an animated form, if only it were that simple. If only the mind didn’t have it’s own metaphorical sword.

It’s 11:37 pm on Easter Monday and I have really appreciated this long weekend. I haven’t gotten up to much, mainly sleeping, catching up on shows and drinking lots of tea. The sleeping is the best thing. I’ve appreciated being able to sleep in and sleep through most of the day when usually I would have be jumping out of bed.

I’m hoping that this will help me in the weeks to come. Help me deal with interactions, work and everyday stresses. I can’t be sure, I don’t think anyone can be when thinking about the future, but I hope it will.

A little while ago I came up with a little list of 5 things that help me when battling anxiety and I thought that I should share them.

  1. Music; sometimes loud and yelly music or good singing music, other times contemplative music, or music with lyrics that make you stop and listen, and sometimes a good classical piece by Bach or a jazz number by Curtis Fuller.
  2. Move; shake it out and shake it off, an impromptu dance party can really help to reset your body and your breathing. Jumping around, going for a run or just changing your scenery can also be a great reset technique.
  3. Breathe; whether you watch a calming gif for breathing, or you count to ten while breathing in and out. Closing my eyes and concentrating on my own breathing helps my heart rate to slow down and my stomach to unknot.
  4. Water; nice cold water, little sips, concentrate on how good it tastes. Sometimes rinsing it around my mouth, making sure my gums are hydrated and my tongue is coated before swallowing it can really help. Actually tasting the water instead of just drinking it because we’re told we need to.
  5.  Write; getting thoughts and feelings and words out into a physical place can help them from running around and around your own head. This can be a letter to no one, lyrics to a song, a poem, notes to yourself or whatever you need them to be. I guess this is why I wrote this list in the first place, to share it on some level.

I’m sure I could write a list of 10 things that I actually do when I get anxiety, or when I feel my anxiety creeping up and taking over, because what does “get anxiety” even mean? If I already have anxiety then I can’t get it because I already have it, right? It’s there, it’s always there, it just lies dormant sometimes making you think that everything’s okay and that you can keep doing what you doing, go about your day as normal and just see what happens.

If you suffer from anxiety what do you do in order to deal with your it? Have you found my tips useful for battling anxiety? Have you been in a situation where you can’t do anything to avoid it or battle it and you’ve just had to “deal” with it? I have and I might write about it another time but I’m leaving this here for tonight.

Lizzie X

Just wanted to throw it out there that I like astrology. I’ve always enjoyed reading about them and finding myself within them. I’m Sagittarius and I didn’t always feel like that quite fit, until I learned about Moon signs and Rising signs and all of the other placements. I may write more about at a […]

Being a Good Person

What does it mean to be a good person?

I think that I do good deeds, that I’m polite, that I’m open minded and a good listener, I have patience when needed, I’m courteous, I don’t butt in and I go out of my way to help others. But I don’t know if that makes me a good person.

I have lied and I can’t say that I won’t lie ever again, I think bad things and thoughts, I wish some people would stop talking, I say awful things when I’m angry, I lose my patience, I’m stubborn, I don’t always follow through and I fall short of my own expectations. But does that make me a bad person?

Do any of these things cancel each other out? I don’t believe they do. I’m not sure if someone can be wholly good or wholly bad. I believe that it’s part of human nature to have both good and bad qualities and tendencies.

Granted, some people sway more to the good end of the spectrum and others to the bad. Sometimes you can think you’re doing a good thing and you can feel good about it but if it isn’t good to someone else, or someone else suffers because of it, is it still a good thing you’ve done?

I could say that being a good person is in the eye of the beholder or that as long as you think what you’re doing is good then you should keep doing it. (There is some truth in the latter.) But if what you’re doing isn’t in fact good and you’ve just convinced yourself that it is then there’s not really anything good about it, it’s just an illusion of good. However, going back to the second part of that statement that has some truth to it;  if what you’re doing is good and you’re not hurting anyone in the process or being intentionally cruel, and it makes you feel good, then you should absolutely keep doing it.

I’m not really sure where I’m going with this because I don’t have a conclusive answer, it’s something that’s been on my mind lately and something of an ongoing internal struggle, I wanted to get it out somewhere.

Do you have a definition of what it means to be a good person? Do you believe you are a good person? Please let me know what you think of this topic, I may write about it again.

Lizzie X

Anxiety at Twenty Øne Pilots Concert

Disclaimer: this post deals with mental health, specifically my experience with anxiety at a concert, just so you’re aware before reading.

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“You don’t look very good, why did you even try?”

I rushed to get ready after work on Friday so that I could have some dinner and a drink out before heading to Rod Laver Arena. I caught a glimpse in the mirror at the restaurant and although my hair looked alright, I’d taken the time to straighten it the night before, it wasn’t very vibrant because it needs recolouring and it had dry shampoo in it.

“Yeah, but she’s thin and pretty.”

I wore my black ripped jeans, they’re pretty old now and pretty ripped but they’re comfortable. My black combat boots, they’re falling apart, literally. They barely have any sole left, they’re ripped at the seams and the material is wearing away. I didn’t ear my Twenty One Pilots shirt form last year’s concert because a) I couldn’t find it and b) it probably needed washing, I haven’t worn it in a while because it’s not the kind of shirt I can wear to work and I haven’t been doing much on the weekends. Instead I wore an oversized “boys” charcoal t-shirt that I feel comfortable in. There was a girl there who practically had my hair colour and a girl who almost had my outfit. Both gorgeous. They mightn’t think so but I did.

“People are looking at you and wondering why you’re here all alone.”

I  made it down to my seat, which was at the very front of the lower seating area and on the left of the stairs, meaning it was all by itself, right at the railing. I remember making sure I got a good seat, especially at such a big venue, I wouldn’t be able to handle being the general admission area on the ground, being jostled around by everyone, from all sides. I couldn’t afford taking a day off of work to line up all day to get access to the front. It’s just not plausible. I belong in the seated area.

“They can see right through you.”

There were people shouting across sections to friends that they’d spotted, others singing Happy Birthday in a huge chorus, people rushing around everywhere and laughing. It was that middle section between the supporting act and the main event. I didn’t want to take out my book and start reading, I thought that might be a bit too weird.

I started feeling like I was suffocating and I didn’t want anyone to know.
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