Happy Easter everyone! Hope you’ve all had a lovely day in the sunshine stuffing your faces full of chocolate eggs. 😁🐣 Just a quick one to let you …My Sister’s Done a Ted Talk – Tune In on Tuesday April 6!
Last Monday, I settled in like millions of others across the UK to watch the Duchess of Sussex spill the tea about her departure from The Firm. And …Meghan’s Mic Drop: Markle vs the Monarchy on Racism & Mental Health
How do you fix a problem if you don’t know exactly what the problem is?
How would you even know there’s a problem to be fixed in the first place?
The answer is …Drum roll please
You don’t know there’s a problem so unsurprisingly, you don’t fix anything because you’re ok… Even if you’re not really.
I was definitely depressed long before November 2018, but it was my normal so I just got on with it …In a really flappy, disorganised, rapidly sinking in the deep end type of way…
“I just about have my nostrils above water, the rest of my body is submerged in crap but I’m alive and kicking sooooo I’m fine!”
In fact, I thought it was really selfish of me to even consider falling to bits over nothing when I wasn’t starving, homeless or dying etc. These low feelings had to be pushed deep, deep, deep down and ignored. Everyone around wasn’t being “over emotional”, so what gave me the right to be?
Madness, absolutely exhausting madness! It had to stop. The doctor forced me to make it stop.
The day I went to see the doctor with a “Headache” and left with antidepressants, I was given the running fly kick up the butt I needed to sort out my shit. This was the second time they’d tried to get me to face up to the problem… The first time I got away with taking a sick note that simply said “Stress”. I didn’t give too many details, I took a week off and went back to work earlier than I should have…
This time was different, it took a good 45 minutes to get me to take the sick note and antidepressant prescription… Shocking since we all know GP’s are tight on time!
The only way to fix the issue is to admit there is one and then address it …we’ve all heard the the famous Alcoholics Anonymous introduction “Hello, my name is blah blah blah and I am an alcoholic” …You have to admit it, before you can quit it.
By taking that piece of paper with the word “Depression” printed in black and white on it, I was forced to admit it was real… Unfortunately you can’t quite quit it, like you can alcohol, BUT I’m definitely not going to let it beat me!
I’ve managed to get this far with it, so I’ll be damned if I let it break me now! I’m not having it!
The Doctor has given me a label and I’ve grabbed it, albeit reluctantly, with both hands. I shall wear my new badge with pride! IT IS NOT SOMETHING TO BE ASHAMED OF …I know what’s wrong, the elephant in the room has a name and I can finally address her properly…
This week I jumped at the opportunity to enroll on a Mental Health Awareness Level 2 course… That’s right folks, I’m hitting the books to empower myself. I’m going to learn all about this thing, because nobody wants to be popping pills forever!
In fact, I’d like to be off them by the end of the year! If not before …Dream BIG people!
I’m grabbing the bull by the horns and taking charge of this… Knowledge up, depression down! I shall tame the beast, like a super star! I’m going to confront this head on and shine ever so brightly in the spotlight, with Depression in the shadows… Waaaayyyyy in the back, behind a pillar, with restricted view of my life lol!
It’s funny how empowering the diagnoses of a condition can be!
“Better the Devil you know!”
Now it’s time to work with it, instead of against it… It’s a part of me and the label hasn’t changed the essence of who I am! I am still strong, beautiful and absolutely hilarious, so there… I’ll learn my triggers so I can avoid them and love myself properly.
I will win at this thing called life despite depression …Or maybe even because of it?
I cannot wait to share all the things I learn on this Mental Health Awareness course with anyone who will listen, like a little Mental Health Super Hero, saving the world with handy tips of how to stay positive lol!
Knowledge is POWER!
Even if this blog changed just one persons journey for the better, I would be absolutely chuffed!
Or maybe I should say two people, because it’s already changing my own 🙂
Love Bald Font XX
Sometimes when my head is full, I let my thoughts out through poetry…
I write and it feels good… I read my poems out loud, on my own in my room, like a mini performance just for me and as I hear myself say the words, it feels like therapy
…And then I forget all about the little notepads I’ve scribbled in and find them many moons later, shoved at the back of drawers and under my bed! Shambles!
It’s time for change!
…Today I would like to share one of my many poems with you!
I wrote it almost 10 years ago and only shared it with my mum 2 weeks ago, so this is actually a pretty big thing for me!
Like this blog post, sharing my poetry is long overdue (SORRY! My time keeping will get better, promise!)
I really hope you enjoy it!
[Deep breath… Annnnd post!]
There’s no point starting afresh
With the same frame of mind that got you in to this mess
Might as well let life flow
Try to plant happiness, you reap what you sow
Here we go…
Not a lone woman, but my own woman
Not an “I” land, but no more “My man“
Do you see?
You feel me?
…I’m gonna do me!
I can be FREE!
But I can’t lie, everyone likes company
But from who?
What the hell
Might as well have him on the list
Rather than off the list
I don’t want to be a solo artist
I’m not that great a vocalist
What I’m trying to say is…
I CAN DO THIS!
…But do I want this?
All this shit wasn’t on the list!
It’s not written down,
So it doesn’t need a tick
Somebody give me a hug…
I’m just looking for somebody to love
My friends, my family
And what about ME?
And last, but not least WoMan like
Shouldn’t She make me happy?
Make my grey days seem sunny?
“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine”
So I know I’ll be fine…
I think I lost sight…
Of what is important…
The only thing that is certain…
Faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain
It’s not a joke thing
So could you imagine
If my faith grew to the size of a pumpkin
…Let me not get ahead of myself, I have a tendency to do that
But I can work on that!
Lets start small and see where we end at…
A pinch of salt
A grain of sand
I’m not on my own God is holding my hand
Scratch that She is carrying me!
Let me not get too deep and…
“Though my heart is aching
Smile, even though its breaking”
I’m smiling, because I am growing!
I confess I am healed, before it is done
But it has begun!
She loves me so deeply
She sent me Her son
So I’ll take this new frame of mind and run!
…Fly with it! Take it deeper than the depths of the sea!
Because Her only son died for me…
Her Baby, for my baby!
…My Baby Daddy?
Because I am loved, I can look back fondly
What will be…
What is TRULY meant to be
I’ve had a break through
She has a plan for me, true?
So why am I chasing you?
I think now it’s time to get deep
When you look in the sand and see one set of feet don’t weep
Know that you’re safe in the palm of Her hand
And She won’t let you go till She knows you can stand
On your own two
But not just you…
Because She is in you
And shines out of YOU
And when You and I
Can stand up and say from the depths of our hearts
That this is TRUE
Then Me and You
For You to do You
And Me to do Me…
…And understand what it really means to be HAPPY
A poem By Rachel aka Bald Font
Thanks for reading…
Love Bald Font XX
I wear my heart on my sleeve… back, neck, tummy, wrist, thigh, ankle, bum and pelvis ❤
…I’m referring to my tattoo’s 🙂 I love’em, I love’em, I love’em! Really I do!
Each one tells a story, some happy, some sad, some deep, some not so deep… But each VERY important to me and my journey …So if at any point you feel the need to express a negative opinion about them …DO NOT! Because with every word, you would actually be insulting my story…
That’s right, my Story!
It gets deeper…
Up until a few months ago, I would never have admitted that sometimes I feel depressed. Who ME!?! Depressed? No way! I just feel a little down, a nap will sort it and I’ll be back on track tomorrow
…I also would never, ever (ever!) link any of my beautiful drawings to self harm …ever!
…I’m not 100% sure …Its crazy!
I feel like a flower blossoming when I sit in the tattoo chair, like each drawing adds beauty to my being
…The sting of the needle as it crosses my skin and tells the stories that are in my head, feels good to me… I love it …I feel strong!
Sitting in the chair not moving… No fidgeting, no sound bar the buzz of the needle… No breaks …I sit until the masterpiece is complete and after enduring the pain, I look at the pretty markings and I feel good.
It’s a release…
Are the two connected? I genuinely don’t know…
I obviously cannot speak for every single tattooed human being in the entire universe and I’m not trying to… I can only speak for myself
What if for me, they are connected in some way? …Could you imagine? …Would you still flippantly express your dislike of my tattoos? Would you still casually pick apart my “scars” ?
…It only crossed my mind days ago, during a counselling session, that the connection could even be a possibility…
I don’t think it’s why I do it… I LOVE my little doodles
But would it still feel good to you with your bare skin, to shower me with criticisms, whilst I desperately try to explain and justify the potential mini cries for help permanently etched on to my skin?…
The stylised peacock feather on my ankle = For my Dad (RIP) …It started as a small flower, but evolved overtime into the big piece it is today, much more fitting for the man he once was
The coloured butterflies on my forearm = 2 out of 3 miscarriages, my little rainbow babies the only coloured tattoos I have
The Roman numerals on my back = My daughters birthday …her Dad has the same …Can you believe that we once had a baby making, matching tattoos type of love? LOL! How things change!!!
My roses and honey suckle = The flowers of my birth month and a representation of me blossoming as I learn to love myself more
The two butterflies that fly among the flowers mentioned above = My daughter and I, beautiful, happy and free
The flower on my bum = Ironically, covers a scar caused by the injections I get to prevent my severe hayfever! Hayfever is a BISH and the scar was upsetting
My Ankh = Sits above the space that my right fallopian tube should be, but isn’t anymore. The Ankh represents Life …Life that I will create in the future, despite the missing tube… Speak it in to existence …And in my case draw it too 🙂
My Lotus’ (I have 3) = My growth… the lotus grows up through murky, swampy water to blossom in to something absolutely beautiful… Like me …I hope!
There are more pretty pictures etched lovingly on to my skin; an Om, the Zen circle, “Success” written in arabic on my neck, because failure is not an option! … And more. Each is a piece of me.
Some people write diaries, some people paint pictures …some write poetry, some even choreograph dances to express their feelings …I express my feelings on my skin …and although it may not be for you…
…IT’S NOT FOR YOU! …IT’S FOR ME!
Each is a stepping stone to feeling better, they make me happy
Is that a bad thing?
..My tattoo’s (my story) make me feel (more) Beautiful, they are part of who I am …I am a living work of art …& the last time I checked not one of them makes me a bad person …Soooo if you don’t approve, that’s ok! Just don’t poo, poo my Life Story with your personal opinions on the matter …You do not have to like my tattoos, not even a little bit …Just keep that view to yourself, thank you, please!
I’ve made a pinky promise to myself, to be unapologetically ME! 🙂
Love yourself first… The rest will follow
Love Bald Font
Imagine the scenario, a room full of people who look just like you and me… A speaker stands in front of us, the eagerly awaiting crowd and to the tune of “If you’re happy and you know it” sings…
“If you suffer from depression, clap your hands… “
One person does a kind of half clap and quickly stops, when it becomes apparent that nobody else is going to take part in this delightful game and everyone else, including you, does nothing…
Nobody wants to clap, nobody wants to admit that sometimes life is A LOT
…Especially if you’re black! That’s right, it is highly likely, that the half clap in our imaginary scene, came from a white person, because depression is still very much a taboo subject, in most black households.
“Overly emotional” things like depression aren’t a BLACK thing …In fact, the idea of it is memeable, please see exhibit A below (from many available on the web);
…Add being female to the equation and it’s even more unthinkable! Who, us? No way! The world believes we are strong, independent, fierce, loud… angry? …We are NOT depressed!
Well actually some of us are… Who’d have thunk it? …We are human.
It’s a sad but true fact, that most of us suffer alone… We don’t tell friends or family what’s really going on under the layers of “I’m fine” …We rarely seek help, because we’ve got it all under control …On the surface.
To seek help, would be to admit something is wrong.
I get up in the morning, put on my war paint (eyebrow pencil, mascara & lip gloss), go out in to the world and SLAY! I make jokes, chill with friends, hold down a decent job, I’m a leader …I’m a mummy, I do homework and crafts… I workout, I do evening courses, yeah I got hobbies Bish …I get LIFE done!
All whilst falling a part!
I have what they call “High Functioning Depression” which basically means; In public, I pretend I’m ok, really, really, really well 🙂 …To the outside world, I am the epitome of Black Girl Magic (…kind of …almost lol), …It appears to the average Jo that I’m doing just fine… And sometimes, it really is true! Sometimes I really am killing it and feel like I could take on the entire world and its Mum…
…But other times (lots of times) I’m left feeling completely drained by it all…
I get home and shut down. Not because I’m lazy, but because I’ve used ALL of my energy trying to be normal! Whatever that is.
Once I reach the safety of my room, I will literally step out of my clothes and in to my bed, wake up in the morning step in to new clothes …slay …come home, repeat… Step out, step in, step out, step in…
…But “merrily” skipping over and ignoring both the little piles of dirty laundry and also the pretty big issues, that have led me further and further down the rabbit hole of depression really hasn’t been very helpful at all –
Here’s just a few of the Taboo topics I have (unfortunately) had the pleasure of brushing under the carpet;
- Death of a parent aged 18
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Called off engagement
- Post Natal Depression
- Phantom pregnancy… This one deserves some deets – Def not as exciting as it sounds, everything says you’re pregnant; The pregnancy test, the achey boobs, the morning sickness etc etc but when you go for your first scan, the little sac that your baby should be in is EMPTY… Pretty shit. It’ll get a blog at some point…
The list could go on, but you get the gist and these are topics that you don’t normally bring up over and over again over drinks like
“Oh hey guys remember that time, my entire right fallopian tube burst open? Well I still kinda sorta …Have nightmares about it …And feel a bit like 1/2 a woman… lol! Redbull and coke anyone?”
…It’s just not the done thing.
You get a couple of weeks max, to share what you can bare to (the tip of the iceberg for me)… And then its just a bit …well …over indulgent really, to keep going on about it.
At least that’s how it feels…
Time to get on with Life asap, before you scare everyone away with you random crying and shouty outbursts about how pissed off you are about stuff...
But you see, the problem is I’m not over any of the above and a whole bunch of other crap I’ve not mentioned…
So it all sits inside, with the other smaller, anxiety inducing things piling up on top of each other like an unstable, mental health addition of Jenga…
Sharing the bare bones of any issue (if that) and keeping most of it in my head… While I just get on with it…
…While the bedroom gets messy and the laundry piles up and the takeaways become more frequent …And I just lay there.
But everyone goes through stuff, right? And look at them all, just getting on with life, like proper Adults …
At least that’s what it looks like…
But how many of them, have been hiding in plain sight just like me? Pretending to be fine out of fear of being a nuisance, looking weak or being made to feel embarrassed etc etc…
How many people in the room really, really want to clap along to the song from our imaginary scene?
…Something has to change. And I’m starting with me!
My journey has only just begun and there are still some things I feel awks about, BUT the little steps forward I have taken, have shown me that everything is going to be ok…
Family have rallied round and listened without judgment. Friends have been …well FRIENDS basically! Both, have been what I’ve not allowed them to be before in regards to this subject, my support network!
I made the decision for them, that they wouldn’t be able to help me, without giving them the chance to come through for me… but once I opened the door, they quite literally came rolling in, one after the other! And when needed, they’ve pushed me in the right direction for professional help! (Sometimes you’re gonna need a bit more than a cup of tea and a chin wag to get through it, for real lol!)
My cup of “over thinking” is full and spilling over on to the pages of this blog and flowing freely from my mouth and in to my conversations …and you know what? It feels good!
When writing my first post, I did receive some friendly old school advice regarding myself and the D word and that was …DO NOT MENTION IT! Think of future employees, think of what people might say and… what about a potential boyfriend / husband what might he think about the antidepressants?
…My response? …My first blog post basically lol!
“A problem shared is a problem halved”
DEPRESSION, DEPRESSION, DEPRESSION!
I need to talk about it!
WE need to talk about it!
I find it much easier to write it out loud, than say it out loud …but it’s getting easier and I’m actually excited about going to my first counselling session… Bring it!
The journey up continues!
Thanks for joining me!
Love Bald Font xx
Baby girl & Me x
The house across the road from my childhood home (the home I moved back to in 2015) went up for sale a few months ago.
How lovely would that be? Me and mum on the same street, living our best lives in harmony! Close enough to look out for each other, far away enough to not drive each other crazy … BRILLIANT!
I set to work entering my financial details into the very handy mortgage calculators available on bank websites, but they all kept giving me the same unsavoury results…
…I got the shock of my life when I saw the mortgages “available” to me;
- Single mum
- Alright salary
- Couple of pound coins squirreled away in a savings account.
“Sure you can have a loan for a home… you just need to give us a £££VERY BIG NUMBER deposit!!!”
I died multiple times, right there in front of my laptop screen… Well, almost …The figures definitely gave me palpitations! For real.
I just don’t understand it! I’ve worked my bum off to get to where I’m at and I’m still pushing to be better and go further… I’ve not sat with my hand out waiting for …handouts! …Yet still, it would seem, I have been priced out of London …My home town! What kind of nonsense is this!
So now, by force (well sort of… I totally could just suck it up, but …no!) I’m sticking my hand right out, with karate chop force, in to the universe and saying “I’d like to order a deposit for a home, south of the river Thames thank you, please!” …Don’t come at me with your foolishness “world” and tell me, with you crazy inflated prices, that I can’t buy a house down south! I’m not having it! This is not my portion.
So I’ve done what any deposit needing millennial, who has read the book “The Secret” would do …I’ve started a Go Fund Me… For funds …For me. (Seriously… click Go Fund Me, the hyperlink is live lol!)
“Charity starts at …home”
According to the book I simply have to make my order from the universe, believe it is already mine and BOOM! It’s mine! Just like that …So here is my order! Deposit please and thanks… If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Obviously there’s a teeny bit more to it than that, but if you really want the ins and outs of “The Secret” get the book or watch the film. Thank me later!
If you live in London (and probably even if you don’t) you’ll be aware of the fact that the rent prices on shoebox sized living quarters is sickening and made just a tad worse by the fact that paying a monthly mortgage can be cheaper than paying rent for a room in a shared flat. It’s like they’re mocking us… The stumbling block for most, between being a renter or a home owner, is more often than not, the deposit… that little boost to get the ball rolling.
Which is poop!
Sure I and many others could get the funds together to move in to a shed, round the back of nowhere and live way outside of London and in my case sharing one room with my 9-year-old daughter, quicker than I and they could get a place across from my Mums house… But who wants to up sticks and live in isolation away from family and friends, with intermittent depression for company? …Definitely not me!
And once out there (in the wilderness… with the worst sense of direction!) how exactly am I going to work, to be able to pay for this newly acquired dwelling, without my Mum? Have you seen the price of childcare people? I would be working to pay someone else to look after my small person, whilst scraping together the coppers left over, to pay the mortgage …We’d be eating ice for dinner and going to sleep (in our shed) for dessert…
Ok maybe it wouldn’t be quite that dramatic but still… I’m not going!
…So come through universe with multiple small offerings! I know the secret and I’m ready for a home close to home!
Dream BIG! People!
Thanks in advance
Love Bald Font xx
“2018 was a teeny bit not ok, 2019 MUST be better”
– Bald Font
So my 2018 didn’t quite go to plan! I started the year screaming “This is my year!“ and ended it screaming “Oh my God, help!“
I’d been bobbing along through 2018 like a normal well-rounded adult …I was adulting like a pro! …I mean, there was the tiniest blip around April, when I got signed off work with stress, but I dusted myself off after a couple of days, told no one and rolled back in to “life“ …as ya do!
After that unfortunate episode, I continued skipping along like nothing had happened, until one grey November morning, BOOM! My brain malfunctioned! …It quite literally shut down. I woke up with a terrible headache, went to the Doctors for some migraine tablets and left with a Doctors note, antidepressants and a little card with the contact details for a counsellor!
Not quite what I was expecting that Monday morning, I’d have been happy enough with some pain killers and strict instructions to nap regularly, but no… The doctor said I have depression. Uh oh!
Now, I’m not suggesting you all run out and “catch” depression, but I can honestly say as I sit and type this blog, that it has been one of the best things that could have happened to me! …Mental I know right (no pun intended), but it’s the kick up the bum I needed, to finally PROPERLY get myself together… I’m grabbing my future by the balls, there will be no overdosing on naps for me! I’m going to put myself back together from the inside out.
I’ve decided to actively NOT be depressed! The end.
I have no plan of how to not be depressed, I just know for sure this isn’t for me and I therefore will not be a part of this relationship for long. It’s crap and I don’t want it! …The antidepressants can stay for a while though, they are superb* …but everything else can jog on.
2018 was a teeny bit not ok, 2019 MUST be better, right? It better be!
I made a vision board last week of all the things I want for my future including starting this blog! So here it is… Yay me! Hopefully before the year is through, I’ll have covered all the bits and bobs on my board and more 🙂
Considering the recent events and a couple of past events too, I’m feeling surprisingly optimistic about the future! …Granted it might be the antidepressants that have put this spring in my step, but still! I’m taking it… and the pills …for now.
You’ll be able to read about how I muddle through life by following “Stories In Bald Font” I hope you’ll enjoy reading as much as I enjoy writing …This adventure is going to be epic, tell ya friends!
Love Bald Font xx
*Take drugs responsibly