I never post

I never post, but I read my flist every day. I'm pleased to see new job opportunities, new goals, new hopes & general new good things popping up a lot recently.

For me: I left my wonderful job a week ago. I am in some ways heartbroken, as I have grown more into the person I want to be while in that job and because of that job than in any other period of my life. And met many people who I adore. But - there was a reason and things must change and move forward.

I have a couple of weeks off, now, and then I will be beginning my Masters in Social Work. I want to be able to do more in my field than I would be able to if I had just stayed at the hostel (despite that being comfortable and lovely and the best job in the world), so I an embarking on two years of further training, living on student money, and writing bloody essays again in order to put myself in a position where I can action more change. My target is mental health services, and the degree to which they don't fucking work - one day, I will work in policy, and one day, I will make some change to the bullshit that means people can't get the support they need. It might only be little, and it'll be decades before I achieve it, but it is my goal. My purpose.

I could go on and on about various issues around this - and perhaps I will at some point. The interaction between the state, local government, charitable services, mental health workers and those with a need for mental health support is fascinating in many, many depressing ways. It's a multitude of failures, especially in relation to those living in poverty or otherwise "undesirable" or "undeserving", as much of society views them. I've got a bit of time off, maybe I'll write up some thoughts.

But anyway, yeah, that's the big change in my life coming up. Otherwise, my friends are awesome, my family are doing good, I remain embarrassingly in love with Sam. This is definitely a phase of my life where the focus is career(/purpose). It's exciting in that scary way that usually means you're making a good decision.

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Had a resurgence of depression over the past few weeks, which has been really weird to deal with, because for the first time I feel like there's nothing really wrong in my life environmentally which could be causing this. I've always suspected that my depression was just a matter of chemical illness, but this makes it feel quite definitely true. Which is a bummer, in a way, because it indicates that this has a high likelihood of being a life-long sorta deal. Oh well.

I thought about stuff. I thought about how I was when I was having bad patches (i.e nearly all of uni) and taking citalopram. I remembered thinking the citalopram was working, essentially because I wasn't suicidal, but I was also nowhere near well. I had awful self-esteem. I couldn't manage uni. I couldn't manage socializing. Let's not mention the quality of person I thought was worth being in a relationship with.

So I decided citalopram actually didn't work. I went to my GP - who is a new GP, who we recommend to people with mental health problems at work, so I figured hey, I keep telling people she's good, let's see - and said I needed something new. I'm on day 3 of fluoxetine. I'm being extremely optimistic so that the placebo effect can do some good work, even if fluoxetine isn't doing it. Mostly all I've got are side effects so far, but that's day 3 of any SSRI. We'll see.

Watch this space, I guess.

(Also, my new GP is fucking lovely, I feel good about recommending her to people.)

Work, hair, relationships, feeling like an adult

So behind the first cut is a picture, because I took a picture of myself and liked it for once, and I have damn cool hair rn which I want to share with the world.

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Behind the next cut, work.

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So, that's where I'm at. I turned 23 last week and I'm feeling damn good about where my life is right now. I'm excited for the future and I have a cool hair cut.

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What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?
Worked full-time, wrote two dissertations, got drunk from just beer, went to a work party, took MDMA. Got a tattoo. And another tattoo.

Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I have no idea what mine were. I would assume they included, if they existed, doing well in my degree, getting a job and getting healthier. And those are done, though getting healthier is currently limited only to eating healthier, not getting more exercise.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

Did anyone close to you die?
No, thankfully.

What countries did you visit?

What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
Enough energy to do all the things I want to.

What date(s) from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
February 10th: Broke up with Chris, asked Sam to come back to the house.
May 14th: Officially in a relationship with Sam. Though the "officially" part should indicate that it's wasn't really any different from May 13th.
June 26th: Finally opportunity to hand in work for third year (all nighter, writing two essays and half a disseration. The essays got 2:1s! The dissertation definitely did not.)
October 29th: Began my new job.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I finished my degree! And I got a really good job, eventually.

What was your biggest failure?
Taking a couple of extra months to finish my degree. Realising the day after I handed in my dissertation the exact reason why I had fucked up my statistical analysis. January.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Not much, but while finishing uni the stress bought on migraines about twice a week.

What was the best thing you bought?
Glow in the dark stars for the ceiling of Sam & I's room.

Whose behaviour merited celebration?
My friends have been amazing this year. Kat, John, Clara, for all their support and kindness in February. Joanna for more support and quiet bearing of significant drama than anyone can be reasonable expected to deal with. Sam, for being the most supportive and respectful person - to myself and everyone he cares about - that I have ever met.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Chris, obviously. I don't know if I really went into this here, but he did around £2000 of damage to Sam's stuff and scared the fuck out of both of us in the process. Still, it helps to have such strong confirmation that breaking up is definitely the right thing.

Where did most of your money go?
Rent. Food. Not exciting.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Being able to go to parties and not worry if my boyfriend was having a good time, going to make me leave earlier than I wanted to, or get drunk and be a dick to me in front of other people. New job. Results of my experiment. Also Borderlands 2.

What song will always remind you of 2012?
Work by Jimmy Eat World.

Compared to this time last year (2011), are you:
i. Happier or sadder? So much happier.
ii. Thinner or fatter? Thinner, a bit.
iii. Richer or poorer? Richer.

What do you wish you'd done more of?
Time with new friends, work on my degree, going dancing.

What do you wish you'd done less of?
Not being able to sleep. Working in a fucking call centre.

How will you spend Christmas?
I have six days off, and I spent them with my family, which was lovely. Food, TV, gifts, etc etc. The usual.

What was the most embarrassing thing that happened to you in 2012?
A lot of my personal business was aired in public, specifically on facebook.

Did you fall in love in 2012?
Yes. Well, maybe before, but it became certain in 2012.

How many one-night stands?

Favourite TV show?
Cowboy Bebop.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
Casual with amazing hair.

What kept you sane?
Friends, family, and my personal life improving at an astonishing rate.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Well yeah, the ex.

What was the best book you read in 2012?
My memory sucks for this sort of stuff. Ray Bradbury, Illustrated Man. I only recently read it so it's quite likely not really the best, but I can't remember what else I read or didn't read this year.

What was your greatest musical discovery?
This was the year of DUBSTEP and electro. So a whole new genre of music puts me rather in a position of "where to begin?" with this question. Torus. Prodigy (Invaders Must Die), M Machine, Skrillex, Modestep, Seven Lions, Knife Party, Justice, Wolfgang Gartner,'s been a very good year for music. For non-electro/dubstep, I would like to recommend a lovely little indie/poppy/folky band who makes gorgeous music. The Candle Thieves. For an example of a beautiful song of theirs, Balloon #3. For an example of a super-fun lovely song of theirs, We Won't Ever Be Rich (But We Could Be Happy).

What did you want and get?
A good job precisely like the one I have now. Okay, slightly better paid than the one I have now, with working less weekends, but in terms of day to day work - this is exactly what I wanted.

What did you want and not get?
A first in my degree, but to be honest that incredibly unlikely after second year was all fucked up through mental health and this year was all fucked up through crisis. To graduate on time. See crisis. But beyond that - nothing important at all.

What was your favourite film of this year?
Okay, so I haven't felt great about anything I've seen in the cinema this year - Avengers was probably the best and I liked it a lot. I don't see new films very much so this is a bad question for me. BUT, I've seen a lot of films this year that are old that I have absolutely loved. Casablanca (ridiculous that I hadn't seen it before, I know). There Will Be Blood. Troll Hunter (ridiculously good for such a silly idea). Before Sunset.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Well, my birthday is February 15th, so was very shortly after the significant date of breaking up with Chris. I didn't feel like doing anything because my life was a bit up in the air, so I didn't even remind any of my friends. But I do remember doing some uni work, having a really nice night of dinner & sex & awkward "neither of us want a relationship right now but let's cuddle and be really affectionate and totally ignore the smart decision of taking some time that we both agreed on and immediately broke." A couple of weeks later, as a belated birthday, I had friends over for the first time since everything went down, and they all knew everything from facebook and talking to Sam. It was lovely. Everyone told me how worried for me they had been, Kat told me that it was only because she failed her driving test that she hadn't driven down to Brighton to get me out of that house and away from him, John told me he was sorry for thinking bad things about me when stuff first happened and that from the second he saw how fucked up I looked when we ran into each other that week, he understood what I had been going through. Then we all got incredibly drunk and talked about how much we meant to each other. So I'm taking that as my unofficial birthday.

What three things would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Getting to know Sam properly, making new friends, developing an enjoyment for sitting in a pub for hours talking shit.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Can I pick an animated character? The very first animated character I've had a crush on - Spike in Cowboy Bebop.

What political issue stirred you the most?
The cuts, and the reviews of disability related benefits. These directly effect my work now, and lots of my clients are having their claims rejected despite the fact they can't cope on JSA, because they didn't know how to handle the interview. If anyone needs advice: answer everyone question as though it's preceded by "on your worst day".

Who did you miss?
My family - this is the least I've been able to go home so far in my life, so there's some adjusting there. Also my high school friends, for the same reason. I haven't seen them since Easter.

Who was the best new person you met?
I believe Seb was new this year (boyfriend of someone who I know through uni). He's lovely and funny and very emotionally open. I'd like to get to know him better. Also, to be honest, my boss, who I'm not at all close to but is pretty much who I want to be in 10 years.

What is a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012?
This life is actually yours to do with as you wish, so make your decisions based on what you want, not what you feel you should do. I guess I learned to prioritise my own happiness and goals.

What quote can be used to sum up your year?
"The more decisions you are forced to make alone, the more you are aware of your freedom to choose."

Have a happy new year, everyone. I hope 2013 brings me as much happiness as 2012, and everyone who had a good year. For those of you who had a bad year (which, sadly, seems to be many people I know), please know that in January 2012 I was at the lowest point of my life, and from February this year became the best I have ever had. Things can change faster than you think. For me, everything changed in a week. A terrible week, but then my life started again and I was beginning to be the person I wanted to be.

2012 has been the best year of my life. Lots of things may change, and I may lose all of the good things that made this year so amazing - but I will always treasure it for the things that have learned about myself and about what I want out of life.

Yes, I still exist

Life is busy. Generic update again!

So where I left things last time, I had been offered a job of project worker in a homelessness project. I've been working there for just over a month now and it is brilliant. It was initially terrifying, because I didn't quite realise how high level some of the work would be - a lot of our residents have incredibly high support needs & are really high risk to themselves and others. Our security has to be really high. Obviously I can't go into detail without breaking confidentiality, but my particular clients are a pretty cool mixed bag of addiction needs, mental health needs, and about 5 people who are a nightmare to get to come to key work, making me work load actually quite light at the moment, and largely consisting of phone calls of "are you ever coming back?" Anyway I have to do cool responsible things like making reports to the police and probation services and writing letters for court and benefits agencies, interspersed with a large amount of talking to people about their problems. It's a very cool job & the time has flown by. I have a sort of review tomorrow of how I'm doing, which I think will get the response of "good" because, well, I am.

Still seeing Sam, and still disgustingly happy. I'm getting a bit sappy about xmas and have put way to much effort into presents for him (it's his birthday on the 23rd as well). We have just a lovely routine of me making dinner when I'm on an early shift, him making it when I'm on a late, playing xbox, watching TV, talking, being generally a bit sickeningly happy with each other. We're hoping to manage to go travelling for a bit next year, though work schedules will make it difficult to go for longer than a couple of weeks, which is a shame. We've had one argument since we've been involved and it was about the thought experiment of "you're on mars and the only way back to earth is a transporter which kills you when it scans you in but reassembles you identically on earth, do you get in?" because I am firmly yes, and he is quite firmly no. On the whole, not too upset if that's all we have to argue about. Anyway blah blah blah this is just me annoying people who aren't in the sparkly stage of a relationship but it's really nice to be involved with someone without any doubts, and with certainty that this is the right person. Obviously we may both change as people and no longer be the right person, but at this time, he is exactly who I want. Which feels damn good.

I'm seeing my family over christmas for about a week, which is a good amount of time to get off in this kind of job. Oh and my graduation ceremony is in January. What else am I doing? Full time work just completely sucks time out of your life, I never appreciated uni while I was there. Oh yeah, Sam & I are in the planning stages of a novel, very nearly at the writing stages. It's awesome but it's sci-fi universe exploration in a faster than light ship (the design for the ship is AMAZING, anti-matter sails) and while we've got all the characters (we dice rolled for ethnicity, gender, place of post-grad study, sexuality, after we'd written their profiles) and plotted the chapter 'events' quite well, the effects on time are driving me crazy. 'Cause it's going to have this staging where by as exposition the crew pick up signals from earth the appropriate number of light years ago - so they get 50 light years out, and there's a signal from 50 light years before they left which we can use to demonstrate the progression of society, and the last signal is going to coincide with something from our time - anyway, it's a cool idea but faster than light travel is so confusing and I keep getting muddled.

TV, uh, I'm not watching much at the moment. How I Met Your Mother has become disgustingly terrible. Fresh Meat is fucking brilliant. That's about all I've got to say. It's my turn to make dinner tonight since I was on the early shift, so I better get on with that.

Still reading everyone's posts, by the way, even if commenting is sparse. <3 to you all.

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It will *double* my current income, AND IT'S AWESOME. Key worker in a hostel for homeless people. I will have 10 clients to independently support in planning and achieving their goals in order to help them move out of the project, as well as helping with the day to day running of the project.

SO COOL. I have a proper grown-up life now.


So I haven't updated this thing since May. Which means news.

Relationship: Still seeing Sam. Everything is awesome, and so simple. Obviously it's impossible to say a few months into a relationship, and six months into "seeing each other", where things will go in the future. But god, I hope they go somewhere good and this makes us both happy for a long time. I'm really content, with him and this relationship, which I always assumed would be kind of boring, but it's not. It's just...this is what I want, for certain. I know these things are subject to change, but right now, this is exactly what I want.

Mental Health: I decreased and then quit my citalopram. It's been 3 months. I still have some anti-anxiety stuff knocking around for emergencies, but aside from sleeping a bit more than I would like, coming off the meds has gone well and I don't consider myself to have depressive symptoms that reach a clinical level, for the first time since I was 14.

Uni: So, I fucked up my dissertation (basically writing it coinciding quite closely with Chris being an abusive dick and so it unfortunately got knocked off my priority list in favour of maintaining as much mental strength as I could for looking after myself). But my university was like, "What? This is a ridiculously bad grade for you! Do it again." So I'm doing it again, it will be classified in September, and my supervisor wants to try to get it published in a journal.

Work: I work in a call centre. It is balls. Utter balls. I got offered a good job in another city, but the commute would be an hour and a half, for shift work, the morning shift commute would actually be 2 hours, and the cost of the commute would knock the pay down to less than what I'm making at the moment. I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do but I'm quite scared that this job could fuck with my newly acquired mental stability, so I'm thinking of turning it down and waiting for something in Brighton. But then I feel like I'm not working hard enough at my career. So I don't know, I'm making a decision by Monday. Right now, I feel like it isn't worth the risk to my mental health, but I'm going to talk it over with friends and family.

Cool stuff: I'm visiting my family the week after next and it's going to be awesome. I haven't gone home since Easter, though my parents have visited me in Brighton. Going home means seeing my brother and my grandparents, and the dogs. Also Sam is coming to do a meet the family thing, and it will be hilarious because he's afraid of dogs. My dogs aren't great for people who are afraid of dogs, as they're rescues that my brother picks up when they can't be rehomed due to biting (he's a behaviourist so he can take them, but most rescues would put them down otherwise). Most of them don't bite any more, ever, but Sam has seen my scars from looking after dogs when they were settling in.

Watched Cowboy Bebop. One of the best shows I have ever seen.

Completed Borderlands 1. The ending was pure balls but the game in general was excellent and 2 is on pre-order. (BTW if annyone's been reading the fucking ridiculous stuff about the "girlfriend build" in 2, I would like to say to the Borderlands designers, do you realise how easy your game is? It's not exactly a twitch shooter, every single build is a "good for people who can't game" build, and if you think it's not, you need the "girlfriend build", not the women who play your game.)

Hope everyone's well. I still read my flist every day.