February Feels

http://restlessfeet.co/2016/12/survey-100-people-tell-you-the-best-way-to-save-for-your-next-adventure/ It’s 1.38am. I’m chain-smoking a ten deck that I bought instead of food. I have a mountain of work I need to get through. I haven’t slept properly in weeks. My skin is a show yet I’ve still not motivated myself to wash my face. I have around 150 emails I need to reply to. I haven’t rung my mum back properly in days. My dinner today was some out of date pine nuts and tea was a handful of cereal. My sleeping pills expired in 2014. I haven’t even opened the mountain of mail I finally collected from my post box earlier.

http://stovin.co.uk/wp-json/oembed/1.0/embed?url=http://stovin.co.uk/contact-us/ So naturally rather than doing any basic life admin tasks that will take minutes to do, I’m writing this. 

What I Wrote

The Feel Good February 28 Day Challenge Do as I say, not as I do etc etc.

Dealing With Valentine’s Day This is a bit dated already but read and get a head start on next year’s preparations?

Celeb Eyebrows: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly I wrote this a while ago but while wallowing in self-pity I caught a glimpse of my eyebrows and realised how lucky I am to have amazing brows at least. They’re all down to The Brow Doctors and if you live within travelling distance of Liverpool and not going to them for all your eyebrow needs, you’re honestly playing a mug’s game.

What I Did

Begged For Money Online Yep, just when you think you’ve hit rock bottom you learn that there is always somewhere lower to go. I really didn’t think anyone but my mother would donate* but it turns out that the internet is full of porn, videos of cats, shitty right-wing YouTube stars and, loads of lovely people on Instagram. I started the day moaning about a broken laptop and phone but ended it paying a bill via an online tip jar, slightly drunk and waxing lyrical about ‘the kindness of strangers’ like a drunk aunt after a few at a family party.

I’m eternally grateful to anyone who ‘bought me a coffee’ and it really did make a massive difference to my week.

*turns out my own mother didn’t even tip me. If you are reading this Gail, here is the link to my Ko-Fi page – cough up. 

⚠️ A very self indulgent 'poor little me' X Factor style rant lies ahead, you have been warned ⚠️ I've set up a Ko-Fi page (cringe) & put the link in my bio if you want to 'buy me a coffee'. The idea of Ko-Fi if you don't know it like an online tip jar for people who put content online for free (like naff Instagram memes 🌚) & to help out freelancers. I wasn't going to do one because 1) I don't do enough. I haven't blogged properly yet & I don't even post enough on here these days & 2) It's a bit humiliating. However, I see middle class journalists with salaries & steady income setting up Patreons & this morning I woke up, to a broken laptop & a phone on it's arse, & thought 'Fuck it, I'm having a go.' Full disclosure: I hate coffee so it you do 'buy me one' I will be using it to go towards my rent instead. If you've ever laughed at my stuff & have a quid to spare, id be forever grateful. If you've ever nicked one of my memes & got thousands of likes more than I got then you can deffo buy me a coffee – with extra cream. Okay I'm gonna stop typing cause I'm cringing to death – there are more details on my bio page.

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What I’ve Been Watching

buying Methocarbamol online T2: Trainspotting Well, I watched all of it bar the first 15 minutes as while the film was starting I was at the bar queuing for drinks as we had managed to drink all our ale before the trailers even finished. I want to say this is the first time something like this has happened but I don’t want to lie.

Verdict? I dunno. As a stand-alone film I enjoyed it but it really tainted the original for me. I found the demise of the characters quite sad to watch (yeah, I know as a bunch of 20 something heroin addicts in the first film they weren’t exactly smashing life but you know what I mean) and as insignificant as it sounds, I really noticed the absence of a narration.

When Renton delivered a rebooted 2017 version of his Choose Life speech, I was pretty glad I’d got that extra drink as I was cringing pretty hard watching and can’t imagine what it would have been like to endure it sober.

And that’s my in-depth, articulate review. I expect Empire Magazine will be in contact to offer me a job as a film critic any day now.

What I’ve Been Reading

How Memes Taught Millennials To Talk About Mental Health

14 Words For Sadness & Depression That Don’t Exist In English I thought I’d bring a little culture to the table for when I’m moaning about how sad I am.

I Watched Fifty Shades Darker So You Don’t Have To

Woman Tries To Enjoy Night Out Even Though Her Instagram Post Is Fucking Tanking I like to revisit this one now and again. Even just the headline is hilarious.

This is This Week That Was #15 I get a shout out in this blog so I’m being a huge narcissist and insisting you all go and read the lovely words Oh Bella had to say about this blog and worship me. If you don’t feel like worshipping me, you can check out her Instagram page instead which is full of pictures that make all my efforts look like I’ve taken them using a broken Sky remote and captions that are more in-depth and informative than anything you’ll find on here. I have no idea why I’ve had to put myself down to big someone else up but it’s the early hours of the morning and self loathing is my thing – let me live.

And finally…..

I have honestly read this text message exchange nearly every single day and it still cracks me up each time:

 

 

Robin Williams, Depression, and the #ManDown Campaign

A few weeks ago I interviewed comic, Tom Stade and asked him about Robin Williams and his recent suicide. I decided to omit his comments from the interview and instead wrote this piece for Open Magazine.

Robin

This summer the world was stunned when the comedian and actor Robin Williams was discovered dead at his California home, aged just 63. The comic, whose career had seen him bring happiness and laughter to millions, lost his battle with depression and took his own life.

For the twenty-somethings amongst us, Williams’ films are nostalgic triggers for childhood memories; Aladdin, Jumanji, Mrs Doubtfire, Flubber, Jack, Hook – the list is endless. Whether as a cartoon genie granting wishes or burning fake boobs as a children’s nanny, Robin Williams was ever present to provide the laughs as we grew up. Somewhat selfishly, we could view him as someone who exclusively entertained our generation. However, the thousands of tributes that poured out since his passing prove just how wrong we’d be. Our parents had laughed at Mork & Mindy long before Williams ever dabbled with drag, and our younger siblings were part of a new generation he was entertaining with films like Happy Feet and Night at the Museum. He wasn’t just the “funny guy” either – films like Dead Poets Society and Good Morning Vietnam received critical acclaim. It was his eye-catching performance in Good Will Hunting however, in which William’s channeled his manic energy into a charismatic yet tender portrayal of a man haunted by his own demons, yet determined to help another he knows has the potential to be special. He won an Oscar for the film, and validated his credentials as a ‘serious actor’.  It is not an exaggeration to say that Williams truly had universal appeal.

As with the death of any celebrity, along with the heart felt tributes, came the intense and intrusive media coverage. This time, however, it was slightly different; Williams hadn’t died of old age, been the victim of a tragic accident or even died from substance abuse – he’d taken his own life. Suicide. It was a time for sensitive, responsible reporting but sadly, the usual suspects could be relied upon to do the exact opposite. Despite the fact that The Samaritans reminded the media of the guidelines for covering suicide, The Sun and The Metro still felt the need to inform their readers exactly how a person chose to end their life. The Mirror and The Daily Mail focused more on his possible reasoning; suggesting money problems had been the cause of his death rather than the medical condition he had been diagnosed with and suffered from all his life, mental illness. What these papers all had in common, as well as being grossly inappropriate, was that they had completely ignored The Samaritans’ guidelines and missed a golden opportunity to raise a national debate on the subject of mental illness whilst paying tribute to a Hollywood icon.

A week after Robin Williams death I interviewed Tom Stade, a Canadian comedian who just weeks prior to Williams’ death, in an interview with Esquire, had credited him as being the one who gave him the best advice as an aspiring comic. I decided to question him about depression, particularly in older males, and whether he had any opinions on the lazy ‘tears of a clown’ theory that gets bandied around whenever an extrovert suffers from mental health issues. This is the response I got:

“I’m not a fan of suicide – we’re all dying so why speed up the process? Robin was a very funny man and his depression made him funny. Depressed comics are lucky because they have an outlet. When you see the shittest aspects of life you can be really funny. Anyway, Robin Williams didn’t kill himself because he was depressed; he killed himself because he owed his ex-wives too much money!”

I made the decision to omit this quote from the original interview. It didn’t seem right to include it without an explanation. Tom Stade was a warm, charming interviewee and his job is obviously to make people laugh and, sometimes, be controversial. I didn’t feel comfortable leaving this soundbite in the interview without an explanation and risk it being taken out of context. In my opinion mental health, at the moment, is too serious of a subject to joke and quip without some educational information being attached to it.

Rather than speculate about Robin’s problems or delve into his “agonising final hours” we should be using his death as an opportunity to tackle the serious problems we have across the world when it comes to how we deal with mental health issues.

Whereas a growing number of celebrities are open about their mental health battles, the Average Joe still feels a stigma attached to discussing their well-being. With 1 in 4 people experiencing some kind of mental health problem in their lifetime, it’s vital this changes. Awareness is crucial – this year we’ve inflicted our make-up free grids on social media for cancer or participated in the narcissistic Ice Bucket Challenge but the health problem that needs the most awareness and exposure seems muted amongst the more ‘PR friendly’ diseases.

Depressed and mentally ill people are always encouraged to speak out and seek help but that’s sometimes easier said than done. When suffering from depression, as cliché as it sounds, simply getting in the shower can be the most Herculean task so booking an appointment and making it to the doctors can become an impossible mission. Even if you do make it to a GP, there’s a good chance you may not receive the help needed thanks to the government cutting mental health services left, right and centre. Off work sick with depression? Good luck with your ATOS assessment. The Tories are slowly ensuring that England isn’t the greatest place to be if you find yourself in a bad place.

Fortunately, this country is filled with brilliant, pro-active people and there are some truly wonderful mental health organisations around – CALM being one of them. CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) is a registered charity which exists to prevent male suicide across the UK. Suicide is now the single biggest cause of death in men aged 20-49 in England and Wales and male suicide accounts for a shocking 77% of all suicide. CALM aims to offer support to men in the UK who may be feeling down or in crisis as well as challenging a culture that prevents men from seeking help. Working alongside health commissioners across Merseyside, CALM has a strong presence across the city and since it’s launch 10 years ago the local suicide rate in young men has dropped year on year.

Wednesday 10th September, World Suicide Prevention Day, saw CALM launch a new campaign across Merseyside; The Man Down campaign. They encouraged us all to get hold of one of their posters “I am a man. I refuse to be a man down”, take a selfie and upload it to their social media accounts. It was a huge success and that Wednesday saw Twitter feeds filled with #ManDown related Tweets rather than the usual begging for Orange Wednesday codes or generic hump day memes. The result? People are talking about suicide and depression and men are being encouraging to reach out and talk to somebody when life gets difficult.

See also: The Digital Age Is Making Us All Sick….