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All is OK, and Moving On November 17, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Depression, Family.
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Hush, little brain. Things are OK. Thank heaven for parents though.

I arrived back in the UK last week – I’ve never been so glad to see the rolling hills, to hear the copious pleases and thank yous (O America, how rude you seem!), and to rejoice in the wonderfulness of being back. I went straight home to see the parents, of course, and it was there that advice was expertly dispensed.

I had been questioning my relationship decisions since they were made, checking the boy’s Facebook page like an addict, and generally moping and whining. Which, you know, I’m fond of doing. And the parents made me realise that which I already knew… that expecting everything to feel the same after a trip like that was naive in the extreme. Time had passed, and I assumed because life was more fluid and different, that must mean I wasn’t in love. Turns out I am, quite a lot, but I nearly missed it because I got scared and presumptuous.

So, I think I have started mending things and fixing woes. I think everything will be OK. Better than OK maybe. Thank god for parents!

On another note, I think the time may have come to move on from this blog, to organise my life. I’ll still be blogging, but I’m going to do it somewhere else – I’ll let you know the link when I do! It’s just clean slate time… moving away from the depression and life that was on this blog, and starting afresh. I hope you’ll come with me!


The Complete Illogicality Of Hormones August 3, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Depression, Life, Chatter & Politics.
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Last night was lovely. I made rather scrumptious (if I do say so myself) sausage and mash, I snuggled up on the sofa watching dodgy TV (a boyfriend who admits to liking watching Britain’s Next Top Model? Ideal!) and I felt very happy and content. Then I buggered everything up.

How did I do this? Well, if you want my excuses, it was hot. The kind of solid wall of heat that crawls over you, pinning you down, making your head heavy and your mind sticky. I also felt decidedly odd – I came over all hot and flushed, with a sickness in the pit of my belly and that (worryingly familiar) ache in my head. I was hormonal, and tetchy, and something came on the TV about a series of programmes explaining some key interesting areas of science.

And, for some reason, I ranted. Which, as a scientifically open individual, I found strange. I let off a bubble of hormonally driven drivel about something largely nonsensical to do with science never proving anything (??), and priorities being wrong (!!), and other such rambling strangeness that seemingly came from nowhere, and which hit neatly on the (sensible and totally correct) wall of Andy’s analytical/scientific brain. Then I burst into tears. The last time I did something like this I ended up sobbing into my (somewhat taken aback) mother’s arms about an obscure strain of mountain Buddhism, muttering about how they’d better never make me give up material goods. It was odd, albeit good proof for the “Lauren Is Bonkers” hypothesis that I always keep on the shelf.

The evening was, of course, somewhat spoilt by the re-emergence of an old foe, “Lauren The Twit”. Plus, by that point my hormonal head was hurting, I was too hot to sleep, and all I really wanted to do was curl myself up in a dark corner with a crap book and an air of don’t-approach-her-you-never-know-what-she’ll-come-out-with-next about me. So, having cried and over-apologised and generally moped and groped, I finally fell asleep far too late.

I did have very cool Formula 1 inspired dreams though, which was something of a saving grace.

Anyway, here’s hoping that Andy won’t judge me too harshly for the escapee strain of insanity. I think it is tucked up back in its bubble. I think.

The Tipping Point July 4, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Depression, Life, Chatter & Politics.
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Isn’t it funny how one little thing can tip you over the edge from happiness into something more akin to fear?

This morning, I was all excited about my trip. For the first time in a long time I was actually coming around to stop feeling petrified, and to feel anticipatory instead. The butterflies of terror in the pit of my stomach were becoming lighter by the day, my nerves were dancing rather than clamouring violently for attention. I was enjoying the 5-6 week count down, knowing that my trip was getting closer by the second.

Then I decided the time had come to do some of my chores. Namely to organise myself a credit card, so that I could buy things securely abroad. It was a simple job – go online, fill in the form, and get accepted. Except I didn’t get accepted, I got rejected, and that in combination with the cloying, sickly, sticky humidity has somehow managed to drop me straight into a seething pit of  grumpiness.

It is, in part, the endless certainty that something, anything, will go wrong and stop me from getting on my plane. It’s also triggered by a great number of other worries and gripes, leaving me in one of those tired, hot and headachey moods that cause everything in your brain to get all angry and jumbled.

To add insult to injury, I just bought a corset. It is gorgeous, red with a brocade pattern, and the workmanship is glorious. Despite all this though, it was too small on the waist (where I’ve put weight on recently) and far too big on the boobs. I tell you what – that does little for self-esteem when you’ve spent the entire week before it arrives wondering if you’ll look even vaguely good. So, with much regret, back it goes. That little thing on top of already feeling kind of crappy. That tipping point.

Bring on tomorrow – it had better beat the hell out of today.

Forgotten along the way May 11, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Depression.

OK guys, gear yourself up for an insecure blog post. My morose sessions have become so occasional that I almost feel bad posting my whiney posts, but it is my blog after all!

So, one of my big things in life is working out if I’m likeable. People seem to get on with me in a crowd, but when it comes to one on one conversation I think I am lacking. I think I have some intangible quality that means people just aren’t that bothered about being a close friend – I belong on the peripheries of a group. There is that beautiful line – I spend my life on the outside looking in.

It is funny. I actually rather like myself, in a

Sometimes I feel that this natural tendency means I am forgotten. Noone invites me to things, noone ever wants to meet up with me for coffee.  I hear about this constant meeting up everyone else has, and I just float by, spending night after night alone and completely behind on the gossip. If I do try to organise things, like nights at the pub, noone ever comes, and it has got to the point where I am spectacularly paranoid about anything I try to organise. I haven’t tried to organise anything in months, only breaking the pattern because I thought my leaving do would be important enough for people to feel guilty if they couldn’t be bothered to come.

Maybe I’m reading too much into things. But this feeling? This feeling lingers anyway.

The Whirring Of A Spiralling Mind May 2, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Depression.
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You may have noticed that the happier I am, the less I write. Something about my previously default position of melancholy made for plenty of writing fodder, and now that I am happily drifting through life in a fog of chirpiness, the need to whine and complain is somewhat reduced.

Still, some days you just feel a little fragile.

Today was actually a wonderful day. I learnt all about the cracking of the enigma codes at Bletchly Park, and wandered around with a peculiar combination of fascination and blank wonderment at the idea that anyone could naturally get their heads around that many numbers and concepts.

Still, this evening I am tired. I am slumped on the sofa, a book and a laptop within easy reach of my lazy fingers. I can also feel my mind whirring – I got to thinking about my trip, and that rather vocal mental voice started gibbering and worrying away. You see, I am terrified. The terror is growing steadily, day by day. I am freaking out about money, about the trip itself, about the growing sense of inevitability as the due date trips ever closer.

The feeling is horrible. A deep sickness deep in my belly, a fuzzy feverish buzz in my mind that threatens at any moment to bubble over and make me swoon and panic. I need a big hug, and some chocolate, and an appeasement of the deadline.

The many challenges of pets March 24, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Depression, Family.
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Sometimes I feel like  don’t really have much of a heart. Some things that should simply don’t get to me – when my last rat died, it was a bit sad, but that was it. In the rest of my life, I rebel against sickly romance. I don’t see the magic in the Mona Lisa.

Then something will come along that makes me realise that sometimes, I care desperately. I will see something, generally in the most unexpected place, that speaks to me of such beauty. I will cry myself to sleep because a song is so magical. And when a pet I truly love is dying, I will find it hard to cope.

Muffin is my favourite rat. She has a fat belly, and bingo wings, and the softest curly cream hair. She likes to snuggle, and she will lick you out of affection. She is beautiful, and loving, and I love her. Now, however, she is dying. Under her arm she has a big tumour, and her mammary gland has been replaced with a huge pink tumour that has split. She smells of rotting, yet whenever I approach the cage she bounces up to the bars, licks my fingers just like before. Se tries to chew my jumper into a nest. She doesn’t act like something dying.

I don’t know what to do. Part of me thinks I should put her down, She is dragging an open wound underneath her, she smells like death. Yet can I make that decision? She stills seems so loving. I can’t do it and I don’t know what to do. It is heartbreaking. Who are we to play some semblance of god, of Kali? Do we have the right to take that away, make that decision?

Running low on positivity juice March 17, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Depression, Life, Chatter & Politics.

Following my super happy post earlier in the week, I have predictably had a bit of a crash. I am desperately hormonal, craving chocolate, and unhappy for a number of reasons both professionally and personally. Work is going through a tense and difficult phase, whilst at home poor little Muffin is slowly dying from a mammary tumour that I can’t afford to remove. Sitting back to watch my favourite rat die is horrific, and the fact that the world in general seems quite miserable has been enough to tip this girl into a weepy and self-pitying phase.

Don’t get me wrong. Give me a few days and my hormones will level out, and I will be OK. In fact, if the weather keeps being lovely and warm, I will probably bounce right back up to “enthusiastic and happy” again. For now, however, I could really use a hug, and maybe a night of head-banging to RATM, and someone to pat me on the head and feed me chocolate.

Blue Monday and Me January 18, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Depression.
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When I started yesterday, I was somewhat scornful about it being Blue Monday. Sure, I could understand why it might be one of the more depressing days of the year, what with so long until pay day and so long since Christmas, but I was in relatively high spirits. For the first time this year I was feeling healthy, and as far as I was aware that should be more than enough to keep me perky.

I should know better. There is nothing like a cocky attitude to trigger an onslaught of depression, and after a particularly stressful day at work I was ready to curl up and die. Well, not quite, but I certainly wasn’t up for anything more than lurking on the sofa and being all self-pitying.

Since recovering from the depression that hit me so hard in the summer, I have been happy. I have been feeling chirpy, and settled, and happy with the way my life is going in a way that I haven’t for a very long time. In fact, I would go so far as to say that everything has fallen into place, I feel I belong in the world I inhabit, and I enjoy everything that goes with it. I love my job, my friends, my family, my house. Life is good.

However, this doesn’t stop occasional moodiness. Last might I lay in bed, and I cried. I cried because I am a little hormonal, and above all else I really really wanted someone to lie down with me and cuddle me. Just to hold me so that I could go to sleep not feeling alone. I cried because my will power is non-existent, and because I hate my body at the moment and want it to be like it used to be. I cried just because I needed to, because I felt stressed and tried and empty inside, and I needed to vent.

I hate days like this.

Christmas and loneliness December 21, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Depression, Family, Life, Chatter & Politics.
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I love Christmas. I love the snow, and the crisp coldness. I love sitting in front of the fire, watching the flames dance in the grate and the coal spark and crackle. I love the travel, watching a DVD on the train as I wind my way along the stunning Devon coastline. I especially love the smells of the spices, the fruity tang of mulled wine, the sweetness of Sloe Gin, and the delicious buttery goodness of Christmas lunch cooking in the oven.

However, despite all the wonder of the holiday season, it is also a time for people to be alone. I find that in the build up to the big day I start to feel lonely, start to realise just how much of my time is spent alone. What is silly is that I will see friends, I will even run out of time to be myself, and yet still I will somehow manage to feel slightly down in the dumps. I suppose it could be that the SAD kicks in around about now, the darkest time of the year, when the long nights stretch out well into the day so it is dark in the morning and dark at night. However, I think a certain part of it is to do with the fact that  Christmas is a time for love, and if you don’t have anyone to love you then you become more aware of it than you ever have before.

Please don’t get me wrong. This isn’t actually a mopey grumpy post about isolation and misery. I have so many friends around me, I am wildly happy being single – but sometimes at this time of the year it would be lovely to snuggle up under a blanket with someone special. Hearing all the plans of the couples that surround me (I am the only single person I know around here at the moment, a particularly strange feeling!), I am bitterly aware that my plans worry about me and me alone. Freeing, most definitely, but not perhaps the most conducive to the Christmas spirit!

Still, a few weeks of feeling slightly lonely has actually shown me that I made the right decision ending my relationship. To be fair I have never doubted that for a second, but it is nice to know that in months of singledom I only really get lonely at extreme times like that, and also that this loneliness is nowhere near as bad as I felt when I actually was part of a couple. In comparison, this sort of mopeyness is easy to deal with, but when you look at someone and all you feel is regret and guilt, then that is a worse place to be.

Of course, I have to be careful not to forget all the good bits that were part of my relationship. Certain lies, events and bitterness post-breakup have given what was a loving relationship a sour tint, and sometimes I look back and wish that none of it had happened. I can see it brimming, this feeling that I have changed so much since it happened that I can’t understand it, that I have to battle to keep the fondness and good memories alive. Perhaps if there is anything I learn from Christmas alone it should be this – relationships past, present and future are all a major part of what makes me, me. The opposite of rose tinted glasses (muck tinted?!) is just as bad as over-optimism.

Hmm, did that post make any sense at all? It was a bit of a verbal splurge on the page, clearing out the cobwebs of my mind! Apologies!

Dressember? Getting Dress-ed Up November 29, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Depression, Fashion.
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Well, we have probably all heard of Movember, a month for guys to grow their very best moustaches in the aim of raising money for prostate cancer sufferers. Well, now comes the girls alternative, not quite as biological but just as fun nonetheless.

The basic premise is this. During the month of December (or Dressember, as it shall now be called), participants do their best to ditch the trousers, and wear a dress each and every day. There are some exceptions – you are allowed to wear trousers, for example, for sports, or for climbing that mountain in those minus figure temperatures. As long as you go home that evening and collapse in front of the TV in your very best cocktail dress. The target is one dress a day, for the entire month, each and every single day.

Dressember Dresses

Getting Dress-ed Up

Now, for me this is a surprisingly difficult challenge. After all, this isn’t June, the temperatures are practically nonexistent outside the house, and this means that the tights will be coming out in force. There will be some days, I am sure, when all I want to do is tuck up inside a pair of cosy trousers and pretend that the world outside doesn’t exist. However, I pledge right here and right now to resist these lazy winter temptations, and to brave the snow in a tutu each and ever day if I have to. After all, the aim is to raise money for charity, and that seems a good enough reason to me!

Every day I aim to post an outfit shot of that days dress, so that you know I am sticking to the challenge.

If you want to sponsor me, I am raising money for Depression Alliance. Obviously it is a cause close to my heart, and if I can raise even a fiver that has to be good!

To support me though Dressember, donate here!