ramble · twenties · wedding

I’m engaged!

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, or have me as a friend on Facebook then you’ll already know the big news.
But for those of you who don’t – and haven’t guessed from the very subtle title of this post – i’m engaged!!!!

Tom and i were in Majorca and had been for dinner in a restaurant near to Magaluf’s strip when we decided to go for a few drinks at a bar we’d found the previous night before we headed to the strip. On our way, Tom kept stopping to look at the lights around the bay and i kept trying to pull him along, insisting that the bar was definitely towards the right, not the left. I eventually realised he wanted to stop so i told him we could stop and have “a moment”, which he laughed at.
He continued pointing out how pretty the lights were, and i was getting a bit frustrated at this point because i couldn’t actually see them very well thanks to the beach umbrellas, so i suggested we walk down to the water itself to get a better view.
I got my phone out to take a panoramic photo but was disappointed that my iPhone’s camera couldn’t pick out the lights as well as i’d like, so i apologised to Tom and put it away and said again “okay, let’s have a moment then”.
We chatted about the views and he asked me “what do you want to do for our one year anniversary tomorrow?”
I said i wasn’t sure, and when he suggested a nice restaurant, i agreed.
Tom then turned towards me and said “well what if i don’t want to celebrate our one year tomorrow?”, to which i replied “are you dumping me?”
He laughed, crouched down a little to fiddle with his pocket, got down on one knee and pulled out the ring and asked me to marry him.
In my true dorky fashion i said “are you asking me for real??” hahaha!
And then obviously i said yes!
We both had a little cry and a big hug and kiss and headed to the bar to celebrate with a bottle of prosecco and to let our family and friends know (plus it meant i could get a better look at the ring!).

That’s pretty much it for the engagement story! We couldn’t stop grinning all night and were chuffed with the amount of congrat’s we received on Facebook and Instagram.

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Soooo…onto the ring!
It’s a round cut, solitaire, VS2 0.25ct diamond ring on 18k white gold. It’s from a store in Mayfair, London called Vashi. It’s also the most expensive thing i’ve ever owned and i’m a tiny bit terrified i’ll lose it (i think Tom would actually murder me)!
I’ve also realised that i seem unable to take selfies without somehow sneaking my ring in the photo….

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As for anyone interested in when we’re getting married – we’re not sure! We can definitely say it won’t be next year, partly we need longer than that to save up but also because my cousin is getting married next year anyway. We’ve briefly spoken about aiming for 2019 but nothing’s definite yet (apart from the fact that it will happen…eventually..).
I’ll keep everyone updated and there’s definitely going to be some wedding-themed blog posts for you to look forward to so watch this space!

L x

depression · ramble · twenties

My new job and recent events

Before i jump into talking about the good things that have happened to me recently, i’d like to start off with a sincere apology to anyone who enjoys following this blog. I realise i haven’t posted since the 21st of May, aaaand it’s now nearly a month later….

Honestly? I’ve had very little to write about until quite recently and have since been too busy to write! The good news for anyone who wanted a good read is that this post is going to be looooong!

Anyway, as i’m sure you’ve guessed from the highly mysterious title, i have a new job! In a way i wish i’d written about this earlier in the week because right now i’m in a pretty bad mood (i’ll get to that later in this post) so excuse me if i’m lacking in enthusiasm for it – i promise i was more excited earlier this week!

Basically i applied for a Trainee Pharmacy Advisor/Dispenser job last month and had an interview a few weeks ago. I thought the interview went fairly well, i managed to answer all the questions but i couldn’t tell if the interviewer really liked me or not. I guess i’ve got a bit of a chip on my shoulder (or just that i’ve got crippling mental health problems that mean i’m bad at understanding other people), but she obviously did like me and phoned last week to offer me the job! I started last Monday and it’s been really good. There’s another new girl too so i’m glad i’m not the only newbie, and the company has been wonderful with supporting me so far. There’s SO much to learn and some of the other colleagues said it’ll probably take me around a year to feel like i fully know what i’m doing.

So i guess i’m a legal drug dealer?…
I might change my Facebook to that instead.

Good news numbero dos – Tom and i are going on holiday to Palma Nova in Majorca next week! Infact at this time next week, we’ll probably either be drunk in a bar somewhere or passed out in bed because our flight is next Friday at friggin’ 6.30am. Fortunately we’re travelling to the airport (Newcastle) Thursday late afternoon and staying at the Hilton on site so we’ll only have to get out of bed at say, 4am? The likelihood of me sleeping is slim to none.
We’re only staying 4 nights but i’m excited to get away from reality for a bit! It’s our 1st anniversary on the 26th and i’m struggling to think of a better way to spend it than in another country, far away from work and with time to relax and just spend time together.

Good things that have happened recently (in no particular order):

  1. Tom and i went back to Reds True BBQ on Ecclesall Road because i had a £10 off voucher and we had the huge sharer plate! It was AWESOME. Photo below.18835820_10154684533924537_7538499008029925638_n
  2. Laura invited me to Sundown Adventureland with her and Ashleigh. I remember going as a child with Kirst’ and it honestly hasn’t changed much! Turns out animatronics freak me out as much as i thought they would. Honestly that place is quite creepy? The soft play was great fun though! Nothing quite like having the excuse of a child to work up a sweat and nearly wet yourself laughing at both myself and Laura getting stuck in areas clearly not made for grown women. I also took about 500 photos of Ash so i’ll only include a couple on here.18697984_10154669297894537_3496493595727502094_n18698254_10154669311854537_7583407322371673101_n
  3. Bibbs visited!! It’s been around 2 years since i last saw her and before that it was around 4 years! Bibbs was my best friend at school and i used to go to her house every morning before school (and usually wait ages for her to get ready and watch her eat porridge). We went for food at Chiquitos and she ended up staying until gone 1am.18813370_10154687248434537_1461968135275652467_n
  4. Kirsty also visited! We went to a slightly less boujee McDonalds for our dinner and just had a good catch up. I’m actually staying round hers tomorrow night too. And obviously we took photos.18765785_10154696261069537_5152340084599712933_n
  5. Mum took me to Harrogate for a couple of days. We stayed over at the White Hart – which i can definitely recommend! Reception had a bit of a brain fart and gave us a room that had already been taken, causing us to walk in on a couple chilling on the bed! Fortunately they weren’t doing anything but we were all pretty shocked. The hotel was great about it though and bumped us up to a premium room in a different building next door, which was lovely and spacious. Mum also treated me to my first ever massage and although it only lasted 30 minutes, it did my knackered shoulders some good. The masseuse even said “you’re rock solid like your Mum!” The next day Mum dragged me around about a million charity shops (not quite as exciting) and i was getting all hot and flustered and moody – just for a change – so we eventually gave up and came home.18740353_10154683828394537_4783629198400342340_n
  6. I voted for the first time in a general election! Yes yes terrible i know seeing as i was 21 last time but i was working in Sheffield and technically living in Mansfield so there had been no way of me getting to vote. As i’m a liberal hippy, i voted Labour. We might not have won but i’m proud of Corbae for such a great campaign and getting over 70% of young people to vote!
  7. Laura and Chris had a BBQ last weekend that everyone attended, including some of their family from Canada. We made s’mores on the fire pit and i ate so much meat i ended up with stomach ache and had to take an indigestion tablet. Also took some amusing snapchat photos with Laura.

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Aaaaaand the bad stuff:

  • Tom found out what was wrong with his knee. Basically, it’s not something that can be cured and means he has to take pretty killer meds for an unknown amount of time (possibly several years). These meds mean he can’t drink, his hair might thin and he might have nausea, could cause liver damage and also mean we shouldn’t try for a baby due to the risk of birth defects. I know it hasn’t fully sunk in for him yet what this condition means and i guess it hasn’t for me either. I’m staying pretty positive about the whole thing though. As i said to him, it doesn’t have to be debilitating – the whole reason he’s going on meds is so his body can heal without attacking itself, so his knee should eventually mend. It feels very unfair on him to get something classed as an older person’s health problem, he’s only 33 after all. He said my mental health and subsequent unemployment would be the hardest thing we’ve ever faced together. Now i’m positive this condition will be. It breaks my heart because i wish i could help. I even wish i could have it instead of him – i’m already messed up, what’s a little more pain? Most people would say this will either make or break us. I know for a fact that getting through this will only make us stronger in the long run, despite all the short term effects it’s having on our relationship, and i don’t doubt for a second that we’ll be okay.

 

  • Today hasn’t been a good day. A bad mood came over me like a punch in the face this evening and i haven’t managed to pick it up since. I’ve spent just over an hour writing this post which has successfully distracted me but it’s midnight and i’m up at 6.30am and i just know i won’t sleep until probably 2am now. I’m struggling to shake the internal voices that i’m a piece of shit who should just give up on life right now because i’ll just continue causing the people who love me pain and anguish. I’m feeling quite isolated, antisocial and as though i’m trapped in that horrible bubble i spent years inside. The bubble thing is a drawing i used to do, pretty self explanatory but i’d basically draw me in a circle and write all the things/people that i felt connected to inside and all the things/people i felt disconnected to on the outside. This evening it’s just me in there alone.

 

I guess i should go to bed now in the hope that i fall asleep in the next hour. I’ve been listening to a lot of my Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows audiobook so i’ll stick that on. Stephen Fry does all the voices of the characters, it’s great.

I promise i’ll write again soon. I won’t leave it nearly a month this time!

L x

ramble · reflecting

Family

They’re weird. It doesn’t matter if you have the “traditional” set of parents – married in their 20’s, never had an affair or gotten a divorce, or maybe your ‘rents never got married and split 3 years after you were born (eh em..). I’ve seen immeasurable versions of what family means to people and they’re all completely unique.

Each one has those quirks, those in jokes that only those involved would understand. For example, my cousin (actually my Mum’s best friend’s daughter) always takes the ribbon off the Christmas crackers and puts it on my fingers, where it stays until it starts cutting off my circulation a few hours later. She’s not a relation to me by blood or marriage but she’s my best friend, cousin and sister rolled into one. I actually only have 3 sets of cousins officially related to me, but i still refer to my Mum’s other best friend’s children as family members.
Looking at my Dad’s side, i’m not hugely clued up on his blood relatives, but my Stepmum’s parents are quite involved. Not to mention, i count some of my ex’s family members as part of my own, which is the thing people find weirdest about my family. Even i admit it’s unusual! I think it’s a combination of me not being great socially and spending huge amounts of time with these 2 people over nearly 2 years. I’ve never been great at clicking with others so i’m reluctant to let go when it does happen, especially as the thought of losing them was the reason i stayed in that relationship longer than i should’ve.

I think the biggest contrast to my family is Tom’s. His parents are together, his sister is married and all his brother-in-law’s family are in long term relationships or married. They’ve merged two complete family units together into one big one and it’s nice, if a bit of a shock for me! I know for a fact the feeling is mutual for him and my family. I love spending time with his family and it’s great to see the dynamics in the room. Obviously everyone is centred around Ashleigh – Laura and Chris’s 2 year old daughter – and she knows it! I’m very much the newcomer at the minute and i’m pretty quiet in large groups but i don’t feel hugely anxious with them.

There’s always going to be those who don’t fit quite in with the family norms, and Tom and i are definitely those people. I suppose it’s less obvious with my family – who very rarely all get together as not everybody gets on, plus there’s far too many of us!
Neither of us could be described as people that like other people, despite both choosing jobs that involve interaction with others, not to mention Tom works a hell of a lot and doesn’t have much spare time. I guess that makes us the black sheep? I mean i know i am! I am the emo cousin everybody has, the crazy one who dropped out of university and spent years unemployed and miserable, bouncing from horrible relationship to horrible relationship and dabbling in illegal things that i probably shouldn’t speak about on a platform that my family members read! The only “normal” thing i’ve done was moving out in my early 20’s and supporting myself financially (most of the time…i’m not perfect).

Putting our unreliability to one side, i’m confident that we’ll find our way when we start our own family. Whether or not that means we get more involved with our larger family groups, or we just stick close to our immediate family…i’m not sure! All i know is that i’m unbelievably grateful to have another group of wonderful people i can think of as family and i hope that will never change.

L x

ramble · sexual abuse · sexual assault

1am rambles about shitty boys and moustached stalkers (TW:sexual assault)

Tonight has been a bit of a reminiscence session.
I started out on an old friend’s profile, looking at photos from 7 years ago, most of them involving alcohol and somebody’s garden or a park.
Then i remembered that i haven’t visited RYL in a really long time. RYL (or RecoverYourLife.com) is a forum for anyone struggling with self harm or their mental health. I used it a lot from 2010-2013, so much so that my journal is in the ‘Top Viewed’, ‘Most Commented’ and ‘Most Entries’ categories. It was a space for me to vent my thoughts in private as only 2 people who knew me in real life also knew my username.
My last entry was from January 2015. I spoke about how i was excited to be going to Florida later that year (lol) and that although i was happier, i wasn’t really “happy”, just content. Reading that gave me the weird disconnected-but-familiar feeling, as though i’m viewing that version of me through a haze of smoke.
That’s the usual feeling i get when trying to remember how i felt in the past. I can only clearly remember very specific events.

Anyway, i carried on reading and got to an entry from 2013 describing how my friends were trying to set me up with somebody called Ben. Woah, serious case of repressed memories there! I did end up meeting Ben, on a night out with said friends to be specific. Nothing happened in town, i’m not even convinced we kissed to be honest… Anyway, we headed back to the girl’s house we were all staying at and carried on drinking. I was preeeetty hammered at this point, like i’m surprised i hadn’t passed out! Fast forward about an hour and somebody waltzes through the front door. Guess who! Ben of course! This sounds a lot weirder than it is, i forgot to mention he was actually friends with our host and had been round her house in the past.
So he comes in and everyone’s looking at each other grinning, and they move into the conservatory to give us “time to get to know each other”. Now bear in mind, the main reason i didn’t follow them was because i couldn’t actually move unassisted. Yes it was very irresponsible of me to get that wasted in the first place, but i was expecting to be able to sleep it off on the sofa unaccompanied.
He came over to where i was slumped in the chair and started kissing me. I kissed him back – after all, i did find him semi-attractive and kissing wasn’t something i was adverse to. He grabbed hand and pulled, asking me to go with him. I’m pretty sure i giggled and said “nooo i’m sitting down”, or something to that effect, but he hoisted me up and led me upstairs. I dutifully followed, half stumbling, half dragged to the host’s bedroom.

I won’t go into details, in all honesty it’s making me cringe thinking about it.
But the long and short of it is; we had sex.

The host’s partner came into the room after a few minutes, laughed at us and went back downstairs to tell the host. She shortly stormed in and shouted at us for having sex in her bed. Ben left and i went back to the sofa, where i sat upset and confused at what had happened. Eventually, she came back into the living room (having raged at our friends in the conservatory about my complete lack of respect) and we spoke about it, i apologised and we made up.

It took me a long time to realise that it wasn’t “sex”, or at least not consensual sex.
I was too drunk to give consent, not to mention i blacked out several times during the actual act, so i wasn’t even fully conscious.
I’m pretty sure Ben didn’t walk away thinking he had just sexually assaulted somebody – even at the time i didn’t. I classed it as a grey area. Of course the reality is there isn’t a grey area. You either give consent/are able to give consent, or you don’t/cannot give consent.

On a less serious note, i’m having a very amusing conversation with Janine about “my list”. Last year i made a list with the names of the people i’d slept with as a way of keeping track, just incase i ever needed them! Plus i didn’t want to be one of those people who, when asked for their “number”, had to fess up to not remembering who they had been intimate with.
Ironically, it turned out that both me and Janine had forgotten 2 of the people on my list from last year…so we came up with the brilliant idea to include descriptions.
My personal favourites are: “old man clothes”, “moustached stalker” and “mental long haired scouser”, hahahaha!

Night all

L x

 

depression · ramble · self harm

Why i quit my job

This is an awkward topic of conversation, and one that i’ve been forced to have with several people over the past couple of weeks.
As anyone who follows my blog or social media knows, i recently left my job at Sainsbos for another Supervisor position at a different company. It was slightly better pay, slightly better hours and as i’d had trouble with one of my managers at Sainsbos, a new start.

My first week started off a bit wobbly – i wasn’t given much notice of my shifts and they got changed a couple of times and people turned out to be on holiday blah blah. It also turned out to be an entirely different job than i expected. I knew it was a 44 hour contract, meaning 9 hour days, but other staff in my role were doing 14 hour shifts 4 or 5 days a week! Every single colleague i met mentioned how hard management work and how many hours they put in (i add – for no overtime, as the role was salaried). With it being a much larger store than my previous one, i expected a larger management team. Shockingly, there were only 3 senior management (Store Manager, Assistant Manager and Supervisor) and 2 or 3 lower level managers (Lead Sales) with usually only 2 managers on overlapping shifts leading a team of 10-20 staff, compared to 1-2 managers leading a team of 1-5 at Sainsbos. Not to mention the staff did not seem to be allowed to do anything without authorization from a manager, not even till voids. It was a mentally and physically hard job that i thought i would cope with.

My second week, i injured my left foot. I eventually went to the walk in centre and then the minor injuries unit about it to find out that it was my poor choice of footwear that had led me to suffer from a strained arch that would heal with orthotic shoes or insoles.
Unfortunately i suffer from a severe case of “ahh it’ll be orate”, so i had most of my second week off work before seeing a professional about it.
A couple of days into my second week and the pain was still there, so i was forced to take more time off. Tom had booked this week off work to try and de-stress and was instead forced to endure my miserable company.
The next day i had a breakdown. Tom had been trying to get me to go into work that day, telling me what impact my actions would have if i continued to refuse (i could technically walk but it caused me a lot of pain and that job involved 8+ hours of constant walking). It escalated and the only other part i remember clearly is when he threatened to phone an ambulance because i refused to move and he thought i might’ve taken something.
One of my symptoms of whatever my problem is (i’ve suspected Borderline Personality Disorder for several months and Tom agrees) is that i have memory loss around situations where i feel a lot of emotion, especially ones where i am angry or upset. Unfortunately this means i can’t really give much more of an insight of what was said that night but i know it was the worst state i’d gotten myself into in a long time.

I’m not sure what week it was or if i went back in again after that – as i said, memory loss problems – but it got to a day where i was due in the next morning. I was sat thinking of reasons and excuses not to go in when i started to seriously consider “doing something”.
Vague, i know. It’s another difficult thing to talk about, despite me trying to be so open about mental health, but i’ve just always found it uncomfortable to say outloud that i was considering harming myself seriously enough to warrant medical attention.
This option had other benefits for me – i knew i needed to get professional help with my emotional issues and even though they would probably view it as the attention seeking behaviour it was, surely that would push things along a little quicker? Sure it would be taking a risk; they might not take it seriously or they could take it too seriously and try to section me, but that risk would’ve been worth it.

The fact that i was even considering this…just made me stop in my tracks.
I had two options at hand: do something potentially dangerous and serious in order to get out of work and grab the attention of the mental health services but in doing so possibly risk my life and hurt those around me, or quit my job and see a Doctor in the proper way.

Thankfully, “normal me” was in control at that moment and made the safer decision to leave of my own accord – which i was more than entitled to do as i had no notice period.
Everybody i’ve tried to explain it to, i’ve emphasised that i didn’t have another choice and that it wasn’t an actual decision. This is true in some respects. “Normal me” fortunately has enough self preservation left to realise that the other option wasn’t really an option at all, and that the effects of choosing that path would have been much worse than struggling with money for a month or two until i found another job that was less stressful and not a management role.
I don’t enjoy being unemployed. It’s boring and mildly depressing, but i have the years of experience, training and qualifications that i didn’t have last time i was unemployed, so i’m remaining positive that i’ll be able to find something fairly soon.

In the meantime, it’s giving me the freedom to try and chase the Doctor for a diagnosis and referral, as well as making it easier to get interviews for new jobs thanks to all my spare time.

I’m hoping i’m right in thinking i’ve made the right decision and that this proves to be exactly what i needed. So far i’ve felt less depressed and more focused on getting to a stable place in both work and mind. Fingers crossed this positivity continues!

L x

ramble

A weekend in April

This weekend has been absolutely what I needed after my horrible couple of weeks!

On Friday, Tom and I went for drinks in town together. Lots of cocktails and vodka was consumed and I felt the ultimate power couple when we got some slaughtered douche bag thrown out of West Street Live after Tom stopped him from constantly bumping into my table and he started gobbing off at him. We (surprisingly) didn’t fall out until the end of the night when I was being drunken and mardy because he wouldn’t let me buy chips and gravy in town. We made up about 10 minutes later and slept until 1pm (also unsurprising as we didn’t actually get in until 5am..).

The Saturday was Roy’s (Tom’s Dad’s) birthday and Tom had agreed to help his brother-in-law Chris to set up a swing set for Ashleigh (Tom’s 2 year old niece/Chris and Laura’s daughter), so after I’d finished throwing up my hangover and had nearly launched myself and my McDonalds out the car after a wasp flew in through a window, we made it to Chris and Laura’s for around 3pm. Laura and I helped a little, but mainly just watched the lads work while we sat and chatted and laughed. Kath and Roy (Tom and Laura’s parents) made it round for teatime and cooked steak, jacket potatoes, salad, grilled cheese tomatoes and onion rings. Tom and I headed back just after 8pm and watched Goblet of Fire.

Tom had agreed to take me to White Post Farm on Sunday and we had planned to lie in until around 10am and then head off at 11. Instead I woke up at 6.45am and Tom woke up at 8am, so we had coffee, toast with jam and realised it would make sense to invite Laura, Chris and Ashleigh to the farm with us. We arranged to meet them there at 11am (we were 15 minutes late, they were 35 minutes late) and we had a wonderful day petting animals! Laura and I used Ashleigh as an excuse to go in the kid’s soft play area and amazingly didn’t get stuck in it. I fell out of my plastic toboggan-thing on the turf ski slope and Tom got a video of it. Tom got peed on by a tiny mouse. It was a great day! 

Now I’ve got several hours of cleaning the house ahead of me that I’m not looking forward to – it’s somehow turned into a bomb site again since Friday afternoon – and I’ve got an interview tomorrow that I’m a bit nervous for, but I wanted to document that however dire life can feel sometimes, especially when everything is going wrong, there’s always some good to be found.

Here’s photos from said weekend with captions underneath:

(I apologise they’re in reverse order and I have no idea why?)

Holding a chick at White Post Farm
Looking at the goats
Ashleigh and myself (this one makes me so broody)
Feeding the lambs
A slightly serious looking Laura and myself
Roy and Ashleigh
Tom helping Ashleigh with her new bike
Laura and Ashleigh
Tom playing with Ashleigh on Saturday
 
A bathroom selfie in Brewdog
Tom and myself in West Street Live

ramble

Doctors, work and mental health

Today i registered at the local Doctor. I have my initial assessment with the nurse next Tuesday to get weighed and my blood pressure taken etc.
I also couldn’t face work again, thanks to a mix of my foot giving me grief and my brain hating me.
I went to the minor injuries unit yesterday about my foot. It turns out my poor choice in footwear has damaged the arch and that’s why it’s causing me pain. I’m expecting my orthotic insoles to arrive today and hopefully solve that problem.

As for my brain, joining a GP in Sheffield is a step in the right direction. It’s likely to be a long, unpleasant journey and one that will be hard to walk.
For the past few months i’ve felt like i’ve only just been keeping a lid on everything. I’ve been desperately grasping at the normality in my life, trying to stop it from slipping between my fingers, but now it all seems to be getting away from me.

It’s hard to talk about it here. Well, anywhere really.
It’s even harder thinking of how to explain it to people who have never experienced it or known anyone who has. I think it’s easy for a lot of people to confuse the word ‘can’t’ with ‘won’t’. Mental health is still brushed under the carpet a lot, or romanticised for being ‘beautifully tragic’ but as soon as it manifests in a way that stops someone from doing “what they’re supposed to do”, it suddenly “doesn’t exist” or that person is told to get over it/man up/toughen up. I very much wish i was making mine up, but it’s as real as anything.

To an outsider looking in, i was doing pretty well. I’d been a manager for a year and a half in 4 different stores (Sainsbos liked to move you around a lot). I was having a few issues mentally but when have i ever not? I don’t know what the catalyst was; maybe it was all the pressure from family and work and myself to succeed.

Somebody asked me recently if i was afraid of failure.
I told them possibly…everyone has some fear of failing, that’s only natural, but i don’t think my fear is more intense than anyone else’s.
They then asked if i was afraid of success.
I wasn’t sure how to answer that one.
Maybe i am afraid of success. There haven’t been many occasions where i’ve actually succeeded at things. Maybe i’m just incredibly good at self sabotaging (i think we know already that one’s true). Maybe it’s just time for me to go in a different direction with work and not beat myself up about it.

What i do know is that i need help, and another job.

L x