A List.

For the past year and a half of my life, I’ve found it difficult to find reasons to stay alive. That’s the nicest way I can put it – bear with me. What’s unfolded over the past year and half, my depression essentially (god, I really didn’t want to put the D word out there but here we are), is the culmination of experiences, situations, feelings and thoughts that have been steadily accumulating over my entire life. It became unbearable in the last year though and I struggled with finding my way out of the twisty and thorny paths I’d managed to find myself lost down. Sitting in a small room, opposite a woman with a piece of paper and a pen in her hand, trying to speak up about the things that have been swarming my mind for so long has been one of the most difficult and drawn-out things I’ve ever had to do. After a lifetime of ‘shutting up and getting on with it’, and despite my natural chattiness, opening my mouth to actually give voice to those thoughts and feelings is still ridiculously hard and frustrating to do. I found myself in that room for the first time several months ago because it came to a point in my life where ‘shutting up and getting on with it’ just wasn’t a viable option anymore, not when I was going through days in work trying to fight off tears while trying to pretend like everything was A-okay to everyone around me, not when I was keeping so much inside that it was poisoning me from the inside out. The truth is: things haven’t been A-okay, they haven’t been A-okay for a long time.

But I’m still here.

After a few visits here and there and with the little helping hand of some tablets and some very good friends, I’m gradually trying to fight my way (not back, but) towards a better life and towards a happier me – and trust me, it is a fight. The thing is: there are things all around me that make me smile, that make me want to experience more, to live more, to love more – I decided to make a list, to remind myself that, when I cut down all the bullshit, there are some things so wonderful and beautiful and silly that I want to stay alive for, that I don’t want to miss the pleasure of enjoying. Some of those reasons are very personal so I’m keeping them close but I don’t mind sharing the rest. These are some of the things that I love, some of the things that make me feel like life isn’t all that bad and some of the things that make me feel alive:

  1. Glitter
  2. Heavy, torrential rain
  3. The sea sparkling when the sun hits it
  4. Polka dots
  5. Mirages on sunny days
  6. Elie Saab haute couture gowns
  7. The stars in the night sky
  8. Pretty book covers
  9. Kittens
  10. 70s music
  11. Autumn leaves being rustled by the wind
  12. Cobbled streets
  13. Sunsets
  14. Singing in the shower with reckless abandon and like I don’t share my house with my family
  15. Road trips
  16. Making lists for no reason at all
  17. Buying art supplies
  18. Making someone laugh after they’ve cried
  19. Liverpool winning matches
  20. Getting into my pyjamas after a long day
  21. Freshly washed and dried hair
  22. Kids trying to explain things
  23. Fairy lights
  24. Old fancy libraries
  25. Floral prints
  26. Little black dresses
  27. Bingewatching American sitcoms
  28. That moment in a concert when the artist stops singing abruptly and the crowd sings even louder, keeping it going
  29. Mixing paint
  30. Wandering around forests
  31. Villages that look like they’ve been lifted out of a fairytale
  32. My duvet
  33. My hooded Winnie-the-Pooh throw
  34. Fluffy socks in the winter
  35. Big bookstores
  36. Wandering around different and new cities
  37. Doing a full-face of makeup with all the time in the world
  38. One Tree Hill
  39. James Vincent McMorrow’s music
  40. Dangly earrings
  41. Storms – specifically when the lights go out and candles are lit
  42. The word ‘periwinkle’
  43. Puppies
  44. Online shopping
  45. Organising things – my makeup, art supplies, notebooks, drawers, wardrobe
  46. Drinking ice cold water on a sunny day
  47. Stone walls
  48. Blossom trees in the spring
  49. Reading a good story
  50. Little acts of kindness that I’m lucky to see all around me

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