don’t just look- see

“What do you see?,” I ask him, my eyes transfixed on the swirling mass of white fluff dappling the too blue, true blue, sky,

Spiralling, it begins as a dolphin, swimming in the sea of the sky, the above above our world, and turns into

A mermaid singing songs to the sailors ships, siren-like in her appeal and song, her powers of persuasion but changes into

A bird. Right at home among his own, soaring above cities, swooping and flying and riding the breeze like a wave, and for him, just living and now becoming

A girl. A sweet little girl. A sweet kind innocent little girl, unexposed to the big bad world, so simply being, laughing, singing- simply simple, but she grows up into

A bottle. What of? If only she’d know. Something bad for your health, your liver, and even worse for your judgement, something pouring into the blue, flooding it,

And the man beside me peels his eyes from his LED lights,

Glances impassively at the sky,

Glances impassively at me and says,

‘A cloud’-

And falls back into the world of a phone,

While forgetting his own.

Love, Hea xx

I wish she was still just breathing in snow

Before reading the rest of this blog, put on A-Team by Ed Sheeran

Snow White. We all know the story of the girl with the skin as white as snow and the hair as black as night. The one with the girl who runs away to a little cabin in the woods, with those 7 odd little men. The fairytale which taught us not to be vain and to wait for true love.

The song A-Team by Ed Sheeran, I thought, as a kid, it was based on Snow White. With her ‘white lips, pale face’

And her ‘long nights, strange men’. As it’s a fairytale, I thought the angel flew and, in the winter, danced in the snow.

Little did I know she was actually a ‘call girl’ ‘breathing in snowflakes,’ ‘straight down the line’.

Little did I know she ‘sells love to another man’ and ‘goes mad for a couple grams’

How could I have known about her ‘weary eyes, dry throat’ wasn’t just from singing to the animals to much?

As a kid, all you want is to be a teenager. The dream of being at parties at 3AM, about sitting in your convertible and flooring down the pedal, you and your group of friends screaming with joy, about having a boyfriend or a girlfriend and a phone and shopping and freedom.

The reality? It’s reality. Life doesn’t suddenly become a made for TV movie because you grow up. Your hair doesn’t stop tangling, your clothes don’t stop creasing, your brain doesn’t’t stop stressing. And even when you’re younger you’re told ‘don’t grow up too fast’ and you think well I just can’t wait to grow up and be older and be taller and bigger and get to be free and teenage. You think people are just saying ‘don’t grow up to fast’ because they don’t want to see you any older, they want to keep you a kid.

But they’re saying it for you. You can never unhear or undo or unthink or unsee something. You can never go back to being five and playing ‘it’ in the playground, giggling and laughing because you dodged so well. You can never go back to playing manhunt in year 5 and climbing the trees and just being a kid.

But right now, however old you are, however young, you’re at a place where you can do something you couldn’t ten years ago and you won’t being able to in ten years. You’re at a place where you will look back on and think, ‘I miss laughing like that’ or ‘I miss spending time with them’ or ‘I wish I could still do that’ but for right now you can. You can spend time with that person, you can laugh in a way you’ll never really forget, you can nothings even you don’t realise.

I have the rest of my life to make mistakes and mess up and do things I’m not proud of. But for right now, I don’t want to take it too fast. I might sometimes, I will sometimes, but for right now- I’m going to live and accept where I am,

Instead of wishing for the future,

I’ll let the future wish for me,

Love, Hea xx

Regret

What do you regret? When you look back at your life so far, regardless how long, regardless how short, when you think about the moments that led you to the moment you’re in now, how many do you regret? That person that broke your heart, that thing you shouldn’t have said, the one that got away, what would you change if you could?

Now, some people reading this will be thinking, I’d change nothing because each awkward conversation, every sleepless night and all the people I’ve known will have shaped me to who I am today, I wouldn’t change it because it’s part of me and who I am now.

The rest of us? I’m thinking about the stupid comments that only escalated petty fights, saying something out of anger that made you cover your mouth in shock, that comment that was a bit too personal, too impolite and you only realised after you saw the distaste clear in their eyes. I’m speaking about walking into the wrong room and going red in the face at all the faces staring up at you, the moment you rolled your eyes and the person you were doing it at saw you. I’m talking about the moments that make you cringe and squirm even now,

You wouldn’t change them if you would?

Now, I’m not here to tell you how to live or what to think, but someone said something to me that really upset me honestly enough, ‘if I don’t do it then I can’t regret it’. And it got me thinking, these phrases, ‘you’ll only regret the things you didn’t do’- well I don’t agree. If you were in a bad place in your life and wanted to do something, you won’t regret not having done it. ‘You only regret the things you do do’- well I don’t agree either. The amount of times my social anxiety or awkwardness got in the way of me asking friends or putting myself out there, well it’s innumerable. The amount of quotes about regret, ‘regret is a form of punishment in itself’, ‘never regret something that made you happy’, ‘I made decisions that I regret and took them as learning experiences’ and on and on and while, to an extent, I agree with them all, in my opinion there’s only one quote about regret which it universally true:

Hindsight’s a bitch.

Thinking what you could’ve done, should’ve done, would do if you could try again, well, I agree, it’s you punishing yourself. Obsessing over the past, what’s happened, what would’ve happened, what could’ve happened, well there’s only one word for it:

Exhausting.

There’s one quote about regret which really hit home was by Yoko Ono, ‘the regret of my life is that I have not said ‘I love you’ often enough’ and here’s the thing about regret: right now, the second you’re reading this, the second you’re living this: you have a choice. You can leave a nice comment (which is much appreciated) and move on with your day, you can think about it or you can right now click off and go text your mum or dad or gran or gramps or brother or sister or friend or even a fifth cousin twice removed and just tell them what they mean to you. Tell them you love them. It’s as simple as that. The small messages, the small changes, that’s what’s gounna reshape the world and what we think.

So this Tuesday’s homework is to tell someone what they mean to you,

Make the world a bit of a brighter place for someone

Love, Hea xx

a deathless life?

This is a short one, kind of to convey the point,

Do you ever dream of a deathless life? One where you live for as long as you choose, can die whenever you choose. You could either age naturally or stay at one age for as long as you like. All the rush and urgency removed, living each day with no fear.

But, on the one hand, despite how great it might be, it would take any meaning, any purpose from the days on our planet. Remove any satisfaction and contentment because you could relive as many days as you’d want, quite literally forever, and get the end result you so dearly craved. It would take away the fleetingness of our days, it would take away the need to try because you can try as many times as you like.

One of the thing that makes humanity beautiful is the way that we live each day like it could be our last. We value all the memories we make, we value the things we put effort and time into, but when time is infinite, where will that value come from?

If the urgency of life was missing, could we really call it living?

Love, Hea xx

My experience with depression

Guys, this is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write. My heart is pounding and my head is spinning and I’m not just scared, I’m terrified.

This blog as a whole is about topical issues and our society and are always very positive and optimistic, but as a rule quite impersonal.

But this post is about my experience with depression.

I’m being open and honest and I’m genuinely shaking but this is a blog I’ve been meaning to do since starting Hea.

One piece of feedback I regularly get back is that my blog is no bull and no sugar coating so this won’t be any different. I am not posting this for attention or pity or anything in-between: this is close to me and people I know, so needs to be said.

I had depression. Severe atypical depression for two to three months. Not too long a time in the grand scheme of things,

But it felt like a lifetime.

It was like being surrounded with smoke. You can’t see clearly and that makes it harder to think clearly and that makes it more tiring to get through a day and then you’re using all your energy just trying to breathe. I always described it as a ‘grey haze’ because the world was so drained and lifeless and colourless and exhausting and it was like the air was too heavy, too thick, for me, thicker than it seemed to be for anyone else. And I had to keep going. I went to lessons, tried to concentrate, tried to concentrate on concentrating, all the while trying to be normal and act like everything was fine.

But it wasn’t.

I know, I was fine some of the time. Not just fine, good. That’s why it’s atypical. And I know two to three months is not a long time in comparison to others who have had it. For some people it can last literally years and for some people it’s genetic and clinical and never goes away and for some people it’s annual at winter with SAD. And my god am I sorry to anyone who has that, I can’t even begin to imagine how hard that is.

Because my lord is it hard. Hard to try and care, hard to feel like you’re letting everyone down while not having the energy to do anything about it, hard to keep going when everything in you screams ‘stop!’

And I don’t want people going on about how strong and brave I am because I did what I had to do to get through it. Hearing ‘why do you look so depressed?’ almost daily didn’t help, nor did people miming shooting themselves or hanging themselves,

But I did what I had to.

And I’m better. That’s why I’m writing this today. I was walking through the village and as I walked down the street I was just smiling at people, smiling for no reason, other than the fact that I’m happy. I’m me again. With a little help from my friends, both medicinal (legally) and human, I’m getting through it. Still not perfect, still not 100%, but I’m happy

And if you’re struggling I’m not gounna say ‘it gets better’ because if someone said that to me I would’ve rolled my eyes but I’ll say this: it doesn’t have to last forever. i know it feels like it will, but it won’t. there will be good days and bad days, but the bass will get less bad, and the goods even better. give it time.

Love, Hea xx

don’t just exist in your life, live it

What’s the word? The word for when your heart fills and your mind buzzes and you just cannot get rid of that grin on your face? When you hear the thing you’ve been wanting to, waiting to, for too long? ‘You did it’, ‘It’s a boy’ or ‘I love you’. It can be as short as three words, or one, ‘yes’. As long as your language would allow a sentence to be. It could just be the right look at the right time from the right person and you just feel it. How can you put that feeling into words? That smile hidden, the smirk, because you just can’t stop yourself? That feeling of electricity coursing through your veins? That heart race and complete contentment, undeniable and unstoppable? You know what I’m talking about, right? You wanna know what I call it? What word encompasses all those strong feelings, that undeniable joy?

A purpose.

For those sunny days where the heat seeps through your skin, for those rainy days where you and your friend can’t breathe through the laughter, for those moments with that person you love where you just never want them to end. For the tears you cried and someone wiped away, for those lonely nights made better by the only person who could, for those secret jokes and moments, memories in your mind which mean more to you than any money or gift ever could. You want to know what I call it?

A reason.

What’s the word? The word which encompasses all of the laughs, each tear, every secret, every secret smile and hidden scar. What’s the word which describes every feeling and emotion you’ve ever felt.

Oh yeah, it’s called living.

And just you, still being here reading this, just your eyes scanning over my words, just the breath you just let out and the one you’re about to take in,

Well it proves you’re doing a damn good job.

Love, hea xx

Mental health isn’t a punchline

List of things which is off limits to say (in regards to mental health)

  • You look so depressed
  • I swear this is giving me anxiety
  • Lol, I guess she’s bipolar aha
  • God, someone has anorexia, look at her legs
  • I feel like eating disorders may be a good thing for some people…
  • If he killed himself, like, I’d throw a party
  • She just self harms for attention
  • I’d get you mental help, but you’re too far gone to be fixed
  • I don’t get why she can’t just be happy
  • Just relax for once! And don’t blame this on your anxiety like you always do

Do I look like I have serious mental illness? Oh, is this situation giving you a mental disorder? She has mood swings and that makes her a manic depressive? You can tell a psychological disorder by the size of her thighs? Someone’s too overweight in your mind so they should develop a potentially life threatening complex? If someone were to end their life, it would make you happy? So she hides her scars, lies when asked and brings physical pain to her body, for other people right? You’re trying to give someone more self doubt and hatred and turn them away from the idea of reaching out? Want her to just be happy, try chemically lacking the hormones which make people happy? And you think he’s blaming things on his anxiety? Try living a day in his life.

Mental health is not a punchline. These are things i’ve genuinely heard people say. People take so much for granted. The average person laughs 15 times a day. Someone with serious depressive episodes? 0. Can you imagine a day with no genuine laughter, smiles or happiness. And can you imagine it for an extended amount of time, like years?

No? Then don’t throw around the word ‘depressed’ or ‘depression’.

The fact is: mental health is serious. So take it seriously.

Sorry that this one is so heavy but I’ve been meaning to do this for a while  

Love, Hea xx