How In The Hell You Love Yourself?

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This was how I rocked up to work on the day that my company turned pink in support of Cancer Research (note the sparkly pink nails!) Now this is a far cry from how I would normally dress. Normally, given the choice, I’d sport all black with maybe a dark coloured t-shirt but I wanted to be fun and participate in the event. Sadly not a lot of people followed suit.

Now I’ll begin with the positives. I got a lot of compliments on my “barbie” t-shirt which, if you know me at all, is actually Trixie Mattel but perhaps that was a little too niche for the small town folk where I live. I also got a lot of compliments on my Grease Pink Ladies jacket.

I did also receive my fair share of small-town gossip, gender prejudice and basic sexism/homophobia. One person said “I hope you’re not going out like that, you’ll get the wrong kind of looks.” Another one asked “Why does it say Ladies on your jacket when you’re a man?” And I got a lot of Princess and Barbie comments.

Something I did rather enjoy was the personality that came out when my confidence came through. It was a defence mechanism but my brain was already planning responses to comments before they were even said. Somebody asked me if Danny was picking me up after work for some Summer Lovin’, to which I replied “There are worse things I could do.” Or when somebody else asked me which Pink Lady I was supposed to be, my reply was “I can be whichever one you want.” It was a kind of confidence I’d never expressed when other people were around.

But my confidence didn’t last very long and after about three hours I was ready to call it a day and never leave my room again for a couple of weeks. What could possibly have happened that is so drastic? Well, his name’s Charley. If you follow this blog then you know about Charley. He comes into my work and I’m fairly besotted with him because he’s gorgeous. I don’t have the confidence to talk to him (because he’s young and cute and I feel old and overweight) but recently a friend at work happened to let slip to him that he had an admirer (that admirer would be me!) Apparently, according to her, he was flattered etc. I found all this out on Wednesday and the first time I saw him was today, when I was dressed in my Pink Ladies and Trixie Mattell outfit.

Well, he didn’t say anything. I was operating the self-serve checkouts and he always goes through self-serve, apart from today when he decided to go through a manned checkout. Well, I felt like I was being ignored or at least avoided. And it made my confidence come back down to earth with a thud.

I’ve spoken of love and lust before and about how sometimes I don’t feel that I’m anybody’s type and that I’ll be eternally single. In my head I had built my hopes up to when I next saw Charley that he might initiate a conversation and then I’d be able to go from there with things. His avoidance of me was a bludgeon to my soul. And it’s funny how one simple thing can undermine all of the compliments you’ve had during the day. Suddenly I felt like a freak and an idiot for even attempting to step outside of my comfort zone.

The sad thing is that I did like the outfit. I like sort of cosplay movie/video game drag and since watching RuPaul’s Drag Race I’ve found myself able to admit that to myself and others. But I’m so desperate for love that I’m willing to bend and break who I am just to fit other people’s likes. Like now, I have a list in my mind of things I want to change to make me more of a person that Charley would like. I see the slightly camp things I like (high heels and drag) and want to change them because what if that’s what he doesn’t like about me? I want to lose weight because I feel I’m too fat for anybody to ever love. I want to basically change myself to be the ideal person for Charley, but I know then that I won’t be me.

There’s a sort of resentment too, that this would be the first day I see Charley since he found out I liked him, and I was dressed like that. Surely it shouldn’t make a difference but I need something to blame about why he doesn’t like me and I’m currently inclined to blame the outfit. If, next time I see him, he doesn’t talk to me, I will blame something else; my hair, my weight, my glasses etc. The list goes on.

This shows up in other ways too. I’ve been considering getting a tattoo for a long time but I recently read on somebody’s dating profile “I hate tattoos” and so now I’m scared to get one because what if my ideal guy (perhaps Charley) hates tattoos? Then I’ll end up hating that about myself because I feel it’s preventing me from getting love.

What I really wanted was some open and honest advice about how to love ones self and how to be comfortable in doing things you want to do. How do you say “Fine, if you don’t like that part about me then that’s your problem because I’m not changing it.” And when I hear about the drag performers from Drag Race having boyfriends or husbands or partners, I wonder how they were comfortable enough with their drag side to attract a partner that was also comfortable enough with that side of them?

 

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The Problem With Love, Simon

It’s rather painful to write this because I actually did and do adore Love, Simon. It’s a brilliant story that I hope helps and brings comfort to those going through a similar predicament. However, this isn’t a review of the film, if you want that then you can go here. This is sort of a review of the impact it had on my mental health.

As we know I struggle with jealousy and so advanced screenings, journalist screenings, private screenings, celebrity interviews and other such media benefits have had me sort of unsure as to whether life is worth it recently. I’ve been such a huge fan of the book and the film since I saw the trailer that it actually caused me to have a mental breakdown seeing other people getting these benefits. (Fun story, I actually had to leave work early because of a mental breakdown after seeing Riyadh Khalaf post on twitter an excerpt from his interview with Nick Robinson and Katherine Langford).

My first thought of this film was about how old it made me feel. I’m not a teenager anymore, pushing close to my thirties if we’re being honest, and I struggle with the idea of life not having as much opportunity as it does when we’re teenagers. Simon talks about how everything will be different when he goes off to University and can live as himself, I miss having this optimism because I certainly don’t see a lot of hope in my future.

Along with feeling old, this made me feel like my best days are behind me. My time to achieve anything has gone and the cast of this film is primarily younger than me and so they’ve already achieved more in their life than I ever will. I struggle with not blaming my parents for this because of the way I was raised and the singular focus on traditional masculine pursuits (mainly sports because acting was not a consideration of my parents).

And do you ever get nostalgic for your teenage years? Not just the blind optimism that comes with them but that almost total lack of responsibility you have? I still don’t know how to be an adult properly and I don’t feel I properly progressed from being a teenager to being an adult so now I just feel like a broken adult.

As much as I miss my teenage years, I’m also quite sad that they weren’t as entertaining. Like, my first kiss wasn’t until I was twenty-one, I never went to high-school dances, I’ve never had a boyfriend, and never got invited to parties and it’s these sort of “firsts” (the cliche ones you see in all teenage movies) that I just somehow feel like I missed out on. I never did the usual teenage thing of just cutting loose and having fun and so when Simon gets drunk and sings Karaoke at a party it made me wish I had days like that as a teenager. Or when he gets a kiss on the Ferris Wheel. Or when he kisses Blue when they get into the car. It’s all just that teenage feeling that I’m nostalgic for, although can you be nostalgic for something you’ve only ever seen in movies and never experienced?

As you’ve probably guessed by the title of the film Love, Simon is a love story. I find it very difficult to swallow because it’s an uplifting, positive gay love story and I just don’t feel that same positivity towards my own love life. Not only do I miss the idea of a hopeful future but I also feel that I will be eternally single and so the idea of somebody else having a happy love story is a difficult idea for me to accept. Let’s also not mention about how I had to go to the cinema on my own to see this film because I have basically zero friends at this time.

Okay and let’s be honest, Nick Robinson is hot. I get this feeling with hot guys all the time. I love seeing them (because let’s face it, who doesn’t?) but at the same time I feel my crippling ugliness and insignificance just reinforced by their beauty. And so the inevitable beauty I see in them soon just turns into hatred for myself and it becomes very difficult to see them (this happens with real people too, not just celebrities) without feeling like dirt on their shoe.

And let’s talk about the teachers in the film. The teachers jump on any hint of homophobia and try to stomp it out immediately. This isn’t real life. I went through years of bullying and the teachers, despite numerous complaints, did absolutely nothing about it. This is why I don’t get a very positive mental attitude whenever school situations are portrayed. Also the classmates rally around Simon and support him when he needs it. Something else that wasn’t realistic for me. Sure, I had friends who supported me (I argue that maybe that shouldn’t be plural) but never did I receive the kind of support from other students or teachers that Simon does.

My depression is also a product of my own daydreams too. For a while I’ve had this idea that Charley, a guy who comes into my workplace and is openly gay, would be at the screening. He’d see me, recognise me from work and then, after the film, would come up to me and talk to me. Yeah, my brain really just sets me up for disappointment because realistically I know the chances of that happening are very low but there’s a tiny bit of my brain that believes there’s a possibility and that part seems to have priority. So you can imagine the onset of depression when I’m sat in a room with not only no Charley but no gay guys in general, and instead it’s full of teenage girls and their mums.

Help.

I need help.

But here’s the problem. The sort of help I need is not the sort of help people feel they can or are willing to give me.

When people are told to ask for help then usually it’s in reference to seeing a therapist and working through their problems. For me I can’t afford a therapist (and the NHS therapy sucks) and so I’ve been working through my problems for the last sixteen months on this blog. I’ve got a pretty good sense of who I am at the moment but I’ve reached that step of my journey where something has to be done about it. This is where I need the help.

Riyadh Khalaf recently mentioned how he’s going to interview the cast of Love Simon. This sent me into a huge spiral of depression because I know he’s got where he is today because of opportunities that other people have given him. His big rise to success came when a video on his YouTube channel went viral and sort of gave him access to all of these other opportunities and connections. Now I have no ill feelings towards the guy (other than the jealousy and envy that I can’t control) but his success has been dependent on other people (much like a lot of people’s success is). His YouTube channel wouldn’t be anywhere without people viewing it, sharing it, liking it and what-not. Just like he wouldn’t be able to get a job unless a company was willing to give him the opportunity.

So this is where the problem lies. A lot of people have various reasons for not helping; either they feel they can’t do anything, they feel I’m attention seeking, they feel other people are more in need or they’re too busy.

I was unemployed for three years, during which time I really wanted to get into entertainment journalism (which is why Riyadh interviewing the cast really hurts me quite badly because it’s an ideal scenario for me) but nobody would give me an opportunity. I couldn’t even get work experience (me working for free) with these people because they just wouldn’t give me the chance. Then I was turned down for work because I didn’t have the experience that the companies wouldn’t give me.

And so this is why I struggle with other people’s success. Even when I admit that my mental health decline is massively in part due to my current living situation and career prospects (living at home and working a dead end job in retail is not what I like), and yet I’ve not met anybody nice enough to offer out an olive branch and say “here, here’s your boost onto the ladder, see where you can go with that”.

I tried it years ago when I asked various YouTubers for interviews and got absolutely nothing in return, not even a reply. It’s not even like I was asking them to go massively out of their way, just a Skype interview where I could post it on my YouTube channel and hopefully boost my subscriber count a little. But no, nothing was heard. I even offered to travel to them, something that would have strained my mental health, but I was prepared to do it because it was what I wanted to do.

I also once wrote to Ellen Degeneres and asked for work experience on The Ellen Show. Didn’t hear anything back from that.

I’ve tagged various celebrities in my posts in the hopes that they’d like and/or share them because that’s also a way to increase my popularity. The only thing I heard was from Shane Dawson and Yogscast Hannah who commented on my article and for a day I felt like it might have been my big break, my view count went through the roof, but then it just died.

My YouTube videos stagnate at meagre views and it depresses me to even get out a camera now because I don’t know what I’m doing so wrong that others are seeing. My ASMR is doing really badly in terms of view count compared to others and I put this down to my appearance or the benefit of a helping hand from somebody already established. Even the opportunity for somebody to mentor me and teach me more about video production and stuff, because I readily admit it’s not my forte, wouldn’t go amiss.

I didn’t get out of bed until 6pm because I didn’t know how to face the world. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I’ve reached a stage where I don’t know what to do anymore, I can’t do it on my own and I’m struggling, and so every time I write, publish and/or share, it’s more of a cry for help. I am drowning in the sea and I don’t know what to do anymore. It feels like I’m drowning, telling people all they need to do is throw me a lifeline, and yet everybody is too busy, doesn’t think they can do it, feels I’m just seeking attention or they think somebody else is more deserving of the lifeline.

I don’t really know how to end this without asking for help again. I thought I was being too blunt about how I needed help and maybe it was putting some people off but maybe I’m being too vague. I need work experience, I need help promoting my stuff, I need opportunities to work in an industry that I enjoy, I need mentorship and prospects. I need other people to see that I do have something to offer and give me a chance because otherwise I’m beginning to feel that I don’t have anything to offer and so what’s the point in life?

What Are You Worth?

Having binge-watched it almost obsessively and eagerly anticipating a series two, I never thought I’d comment on how the new series of Queer Eye has affected my mental health in a negative way. But, sadly, this is going to be that post.

There are two episodes of Queer Eye that I struggle to watch; “To Gay or Not Too Gay” and “Hose Before Bros”.

To Gay or Not Too Gay is an episode where the Fab 5 makeover the “straightest gay guy in Atlanta” in an attempt to help him come out to his step-mother. I actually very much appreciated this episode because I realised they had dropped the “for the straight guy” schtick but it quickly turned into difficulty for me to watch. That’s because this episode reinforced the stereotype that I really hate about gay men, that apparently all gay men are fit, toned, tanned, slim, slender, etc. The guy they made-over dressed a little bit preppy but was still successful, fit and had a boyfriend. He even felt comfortable enough in his own skin to go shirtless and/or to wear a harness and go to various gay events. Sure, he hadn’t come out to his step-mother and so they sort of framed it around that, but it felt hollow for me because we weren’t seeing a gay man in desperate need of a make-over.

Queer Eye itself isn’t exactly an easy thing for me to watch anyway, what with the Fab 5 being made up of successful, good looking gay guys which I become slightly envious of. Most notably Antoni Porowski has received a lot of publicity because of his dashing looks, with few people actually concentrating on what else he brings to the table.

The other episode’s struggle can be summed up in one word; Superman. Since the show aired the firefighter who Karamo Brown nicknamed Superman has been quite the object of thirst. Even on the show they capitalised on any and every moment to get those shirtless or sexy shots of him, and he wasn’t even the one getting the make-over. People lust over him like crazy. Now I’m not saying he’s not hot, because he is, but somebody even posted on Twitter about “Superman” saying; “good morning to fireman Micah from episode 8 of the Queer Eye reboot and no one else”. It’s this attitude that just because he’s attractive he is more worthy of your attention than others. This really makes me feel worthless because I’m not as attractive as him.

Now I know a lot of this comes down to my own body image issues but being bombarded with attractive people, and sidelining those that aren’t as attractive, really reinforces the idea of worth and value and that unless you look good you aren’t worth as much focus. This is how I feel whenever I see a picture or a gif of “Superman”. It makes me realise I’m probably never going to look like that and so what is the point of even trying? It’s this sort of thinking that leads me to extreme views of self-harm because I hate how I look compared to this god-like person. But this isn’t just Queer Eye that does it. Attractive people are pushed to the forefront in everything we do and given accolades and opportunities that wouldn’t be available to people who look like…well…me. The media really does reinforce this idea that the world is cast like a movie and if you’re not attractive then you’re not the main character. At times I feel like I’m an extra, and the director is trying to lose me at the back somewhere so nobody can see the ugly person in the show.

And let’s revert back to the episode where they dropped the “for the straight guy”. Because this is what, being a member of the LGBT+ community, I struggle with the most. The LGBT+ community does a lot to put its best foot forward but sadly sometimes that comes at the expense of pretending some of us don’t exist. Look at dating apps or websites and you’ll notice that almost all of the men on there are fit, toned, tanned, slim, slender. They basically fit any category that can be considered “above average” for a positive body image. You very rarely see normal gay couples, or diverse gay couples, featured on these adverts.

Beauty is something we are supposed to enjoy, but I find myself enjoying beauty less and less as time goes on. We’re talking primarily about physical beauty here but I find myself struggling to enjoy works of art because of their beauty and the unrealistic expectations it puts on people.

Now let’s get a little bit personal.

There’s a guy who comes into my work called Charley. I’ve mentioned him in a previous post. He is gorgeous (personal opinion, yes, but it’s also widely acknowledged by people I have spoken to). Now when he first came into my workplace I used to love it because, obviously, the eye candy factor. But slowly over time I’ve grown to hate him coming into my work, his appearance has a dramatically negative affect on my mental health. That’s because I can’t appreciate how good looking he is without realising everything I’m not. I can’t see him as good looking without also seeing myself as unworthy, overweight, too tall, stupid hair, stupid glasses, awkward smile, half-arsed shave, etc. I still see him as beautiful but all of these things come up with it too. And this is why I struggle with those episodes of Queer Eye and with the media in general sometimes. It’s because I can’t separate their beauty from my faults. The two are linked in my mind and so when somebody mentions how good looking Antoni is or Superman is or when I’m forced to see the guy in the harness with rippling abs, well then that is just like telling me I’m too ugly to be worth your time.

This could also be more personal than I even thought. Going back, I don’t get attention from people who look like that. It’s not a pity party, it’s just a fact. I’ve met some drop-dead gorgeous guys and ninety percent of the times they don’t even know I’m there. The other ten percent of the time they know I’m there but I’m not worth giving the time of day to. So maybe it’s my warped mind believing that good looking and beautiful people will always be selfish, stuck-up, conceited, self involved arseholes towards me because I’m not as attractive.

Gun Control

So there’s obviously been a lot of debate over the last few days about the issue of Gun Control.

I grew up and still live in the UK in which we have strict gun control laws. To this day I don’t even know how I would go about getting a gun. I don’t know who I’d have to ask, what permits to have, what checks would be needed, etc. I don’t know anything about owning a gun because it’s so damn difficult to get one. I’m talking about basic guns too, we’re not even talking about Assault Rifles (which are the ones used in school shootings), which are totally illegal in this country because, as is common sense, no civilian needs an assault rifle. There’s just no need for it. Yet I know for a fact you can walk into most places in America and purchase a gun, and not even just a basic one, a semi-automatic weapon.

There’s been some rather horrific points made in opposition to upping gun control in the US. The first one I want to address comes from Tomi Lahren who tweeted “Can the Left let the families grieve for even 24 hours before they push their anti-gun and anti-gunowner agenda? My goodness. This isn’t about a gun it’s about another lunatic. ” So I understand there’s a grieving progress and you do have to respect it, but grief doesn’t get in the way of law. Just because somebody is grieving, doesn’t mean you can’t debate the issue (as you clearly don’t mind doing). Also, there are kids that were in the classrooms, that lost their friends and families, who have taken to Twitter to tell you to reconsider your gun laws. This could have been such a nice sentiment too, you could have come across as a real caring person, had you not used words such as “push their…agenda” which just makes your statement inflammatory and undermines your “care” for the families.

Senator Marco Rubio said “I’m trying to be clear and honest here, someone who has decided to commit this crime, they will find a way to get the gun to do it.” This takes me back to something my dad said to me when I was growing up. My dad used to say that if you’re going to be burgled then they’ll find a way inside the house. This doesn’t mean we left the doors and windows open for them to make it easier though. Without gun control your idea of buying firearms is like leaving a door open for a burglar to break in.

I want to step into something personal here because I wouldn’t be alive today if the UK didn’t have such strict gun laws. In my suicidal times I have thought about how I’d end my life and the easiest way for me to do it would be taking a gun to my head. It’s not a nice thought but we have to admit these things before we can get over them. But yes, if I were an American citizen then in my darkest hours I would have gone out, bought a gun and ended everything. The fact of the matter is that you can’t do it over here. If you’re having a dark time then you can’t wander out and get a gun within the hour, you’d have to wait weeks or even months, by which time the feelings you were having have had a chance to pass. And so no, if people do want to do things like this, it doesn’t mean they will definitely find a way to get a gun.

Tomi Lahren believes “This isn’t about a gun it’s about another lunatic.” You’re half right. It’s about both. But let’s look at the “lunatic”, which then enters us into a mental health discussion. If we want to help people like this, trying to help them not commit these crimes, then we have to address the issues as to why this happens. We can look at things like bullying, mental illness, drugs, alcohol, etc because yes, all of these things can play a part in why a person does something. But there’s one factor that every school shooting has in common; it’s done because these people can EASILY get guns. Helping the mentally ill would be increasing checks and restricting the ability to own guns. Even if we just cut out the assault rifles (so I’m not taking away precious gun ownership entirely), you would see a decrease in the number of school shootings and the number of fatalities in these incidents.

I also don’t get the Right Wing desire towards owning a gun. If you ask them why they need to own a gun they usually say protection, although that doesn’t really cover it (there’s plenty of other forms of protection you can have legally). What it really boils down to is the idea that you want to be in control. You want to have that gun because it makes you feel good and it gives you that rush because you control whether somebody else lives or dies. It is, in essence, the real reason people own high powered and military grade weaponry, it makes them feel bigger than they are.

Valentines Day

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I have posted this gif three times to my Twitter already; twice in updates and then once in a reply comment to somebody. Now I began to wonder if I was posting it a bit too much but then I realised that three times is nothing compared to how many times this feeling hits me, especially over the Valentines Day period.

Valentines Day has me confused a lot of the time because it’s not the single day in the year where I feel the most alone. That award probably goes to Christmas Day or New Years Eve just because the concentration of feelings are limited to one single day and that’s usually when we’re all gathered as a family and I feel completely single (true fact, I’m the only single person in my family over the age of 5). Valentines Day doesn’t do that, it doesn’t congregate a family together and make you concentrate all of those feelings into one single day. No, instead you get to feel miserable and single over a couple of days when you see people buying flowers and chocolates and updating their Facebook and Twitter Status’s and the like, it’s less like Christmas where you feel you’re fighting one battle and instead you feel like you’re fighting a war everyday.

But don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to hate on Valentines Day because I know that if I had a boyfriend I’d do something sweet for Valentines Day and I’d actually buy into the commercial stuff, just because I’m a bit of a hopeless romantic at heart. So I won’t slate it for being commercialised and overpriced (despite the fact that it completely is).

I found myself this morning wishing that Valentines Day was a holiday because I didn’t want to have to get out of bed and go into work. I don’t want to hear about other people’s plans for Valentines Day and I certainly don’t want other people pitying me for having to work on Valentines Day evening. Yeah, I have the evening shift so I’m expecting a lot of patronising “Valentines Day is overrated anyway” or “It’s sad they make you work tonight of all nights”. I struggle as well because I don’t really know what I want somebody to say to me either, I can’t think of a lot of things that would make it easier.

My relationship with Valentines Day, as most things do, stems back to when I was a kid. A big deal isn’t really made of the day when you’re in junior school or below, it’s only when you hit Secondary school (High School) that it suddenly becomes a thing. Before that you’re expected to make cards for your mum and obviously it’s close to Mother’s Day so sometimes schools choose that instead. But I remember quite vividly having to go to school one Valentines Day when everybody was walking around with single red roses or bouquets of flowers and chocolates and just all the usual stuff. And now yes, that’s a nice gesture, but it also compounds the fact that I’m single.

Valentines Day provides a boat-load of depression gunpowder stored up inside my head all primed and ready to be lit. That’s a dangerous situation to be in because I don’t know what the spark will be that will inevitably set me exploding. Some days it’s a simple red rose that I don’t get, sometimes it’s seeing happy couples on Facebook, who the hell knows? But I do know what somebody else will consider a nice gesture will seem to me like the end of the world at some point today. And I don’t know how to not feel like that, this is a feeling that’s been instilled in me every year since I was born and so it’s not like I can just go “oh, that’s nice” and brush it aside like I could most days of the year. Valentines Day (and the lead up to it) is a constant barrage of reminders that you’re alone. Just imagine every time somebody bought flowers or chocolates for Valentines Day that you are slapped around the face. A couple of times you could probably brush off and forget about but when you feel like you’ve been slapped a couple of hundred times then it becomes difficult to stomach anything more than crawling into bed and crying until the day is over.

I also struggle with Valentines Day because it’s supposed to be the day that you can tell people you love them without any sort of judgement or repercussions. Well, if you’ve read my previous post then you know nothing goes without repercussions. As such there are guys I really want to confess my feelings for but I’m scared. I’m scared because history has shown me I’ll either be greeted with disdain, ignored or deemed “psycho” (all of which has happened). So Valentines Day to me is another day when I have so much emotion inside of me, so many feelings I want to tell people, but can’t out of complete and utter fear.

My Queer Eye Profile

I have spent the last two days binge watching the newest season of Queer Eye. One of the things I love is that since the original they have dropped the “For The Straight Guy” from the title because now it’s about makeovers and not about the gay/straight divide. There’s still some issues to be explored but it doesn’t primarily focus on that anymore, it’s now about helping people more than anything.

The main thing I like is how they break a life down into five categories and a specialist comes in to help you fix that aspect of your life, or at least teaches you how to maintain it.

In this post I am going to try and construct a Queer Eye Profile for myself.

Basics

Age – 27

Height – 6’2

Weight – 216 lbs

Design

I still live with my parents where I have a single room that has never been decorated since I moved in. It has beige walls with a beige carpet and the only thing design aspect I put my opinion into are the numerous black cabinets stocked full of movies and books. I spend 90% of my time in one single corner of my room where the computer is and it’s only two foot away from where my bed is, making it easy to roll out of bed and just sit on the computer all day. It’s not a bachelor pad, it’s not an elegantly designed room, it always just feels like it’s unfinished and in the middle of change. I also have my own bathroom, although the bath doesn’t work and it doesn’t have a shower so I have to use the one over my parents side of the house which is rather inconvenient at times.

Food

I can’t remember a time when I have actually cooked a meal. My parents prepare dinner for me all the time and when I’m going to be at work in the evening then I just usually have a bowl of cereal for dinner. Even at University I lived on SuperNoodles and pasta but nothing fancy, just pasta in a bowl with some barbecue sauce and cheese. I’m very fussy when it comes to food and textures so my diet fluctuates between diet shakes and porridge to pizza and chips. The food is usually beige and has often been described as “kids food” because it’s processed and unhealthy. Don’t even get me started on vegetables. Yuck. I eat a lot of sweets as well, because I have a huge sweet-tooth. So on the times when I’m not trying to diet and lose weight I can munch through dozens of packets of sweets without even noticing I’m doing it.

Grooming

By far probably the easiest to describe because it’s virtually non-existent. I spend less than a minute on my appearance when I’m going out and if I’m not leaving the house then all I do is brush my hair and not care how awful it looks. My hair regime consists of sticking my head under some water and then brushing it across so I have the hairstyle of a 1920s gangster, or Hitler. I lock it in place with a huge amount of hairspray so it doesn’t move. I’ve been at a loss with what to do with my hair since I cut it short (having used to have shoulder length hair which everybody hated) and I’m still undecided as to whether I want it long or short. I shave once a week and only because I have to go to work, if I have time off work then I just don’t shave until I have to go back and I end up looking homeless.

Wardrobe

At this moment, typing this, I do not currently own a wardrobe. I own a sort of display stand with sections for different types of clothes although I pretty much wear the same things day-in and day-out. I’ve only ever bought a handful of my clothes with 99% of my stuff having been bought by my mother or being gifts for Christmas or Birthdays. A lot of my clothes are black and I’m not a huge lover of colour just because I feel it draws attention to me and I’m not prepared for that. I hate shopping for clothes because I hate being on the larger side of things and it always makes me depressed, plus my mother has instilled the idea that spending more than £3 on a t-shirt is a horrific waste of money.

I have basically no self-style. And I live in tracksuit bottoms when I’m at home or my one pair of jeans when I leave the house.

Culture

I’ve never been in a relationship. I’m on numerous dating websites and stuff but I lack the self-confidence to send any messages to guys I match with or like. I have a slight distrust of the LGBT community because I had a drastically bad experience with the society at University and since then I’ve distanced myself from the crowd. I also consider myself “too old” for the whole “gay scene” and don’t know where else to find love.

I also suffer with depression and anxiety (stemming from a lot of things such as body image issues and bullying) and so I work a dead-end job in retail, fifteen hours a week, four days a week, and end up hating myself because I’m not following my dream of journalism. I enjoy raising awareness of mental health issues and mental health is a huge part of my life because it’s affected me so much, I just haven’t found a platform for myself yet. I tried YouTube but my self-confidence doesn’t always get on well with YouTube, especially when I don’t get the view count I want. As such I sort of stick to just this blog.

The anxiety and depression also leads me to practically never leaving the house. I go to work and the gym once a week (sometimes) but apart from that I basically never go outside. I have practically zero friends (I have colleagues and acquaintances, but nobody I know socially on a regular basis).

Mental Health vs Physical Health

I’m currently fighting a struggle between my mental health and my physical health.

My physical health was going well, I was a member of a gym and going twice a week with personal training sessions and I was slowly losing weight. That is until September last year when I was quite seriously ill. I’ve not been given a medical name for it but basically I spent eight hours lying on a sofa because I couldn’t move without throwing up, I was permanently dizzy with intense headaches, could barely walk in a straight line and wasn’t allowed to drive anywhere (apart from not being able to move for fear of throwing up or driving, the rest of the physical ailments continue to this day). So yeah, I had to stop going to the gym at that time because physically I couldn’t do anything. Up until recently I haven’t even been able to do more than fifteen minutes fast walking without getting intense dizziness and spending the rest of the day feeling like I’m about to throw up.

But today I mustered up the courage and went in for a personal training session. I can only do, like, 25% of what I used to be able to do. The weight I lift has had to be dropped intensely and I struggle to do the larger sets of reps. All in all, when I finish at the gym, I feel sick, dizzy, worn out and miserable because I feel like I’ve failed due to the fact that I can’t do anywhere close to my previous sessions. (The intense dizziness is what stops me doing high weights and reps, when the room starts spinning then I have to stop, not just a lack of motivation or effort). So this isn’t exactly good for my mental health, given the limited activity I can do and the amount that a personal trainer plus a gym membership costs, it all seems like a waste of money.

So I’ve also been trying to diet. My diet a few years ago was awful with very little fruit and very little vegetables. Well that has changed and my current diet is the Slim Fast diet which means I have two shakes a day and then my evening meal at night (Unless I’m working, in which case it becomes two shakes a day and lunchtime meal). My snacks in the between times are apples, bananas and raisins. That is my complete food intake. The only problem with this? It seems to counteract the antidepressants I’m on and work to make my mood lower than it should be.

My mood has become so paralysingly low that I actually can’t do anything anymore. I don’t write stories (something which I used to really enjoy), I don’t make videos, I don’t do anything because my mood is always just that one level above rock bottom. And so I’ve sort of come to an impasse.

I don’t know whether continuing at the gym is worth it because my physical health isn’t up to scratch and the expenditure really hinders my mental health. But, quitting the gym means that I will sit at home and eat chocolate and sweets which, in the short term, will improve my mood but, in the long term, will lead to bigger body image issues and continued mental health problems. Now I know people will say “why not just leave the gym and diet?” which, as I’ve said, also leaves me with a huge mental illness problem.

I don’t know what to do any more. I’m stuck for a solution because I’m massively unhappy with my weight but weight loss seems to mean my physical and mental health fight against each other and it leaves me a nervous wreck in the middle of everything. I feel like I’m doomed to lead a miserable life, whatever the choice may be. On one hand I may be more productive but I’ll be massively overweight and completely unhappy with my body, but on the other hand I’ll be working myself basically to death just to achieve weight loss that I can’t guarantee will bring me happiness anyway.

The Invisible Class

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Now, before we begin, I have to say that I don’t really know a lot about Chrissy Teigen (I’m sorry, female models aren’t exactly in my wheelhouse), but I do remember seeing her on a television show and thinking she was quite cool.

Also, I grew up on WWE and it was no secret that I wanted to be the Billion Dollar Princess and so my admiration for Stephanie McMahon goes far beyond anything I could write on a blog.

With that being said, I want everybody to keep in mind that nothing personal is meant towards either of these people. This, once again, is a blog post that explains how sometimes things can be taken badly and why they might be taken that way.

So, as you can see, Chrissy Teigen gets an official invitation to Wrestlemania 34 simply because she tweeted out about how she once attended a show and had to leave early. I’ve done my research and found out she didn’t really want to be there to start with (she spent weeks making fun of it) and then once her husband had performed he decided to leave and she had changed her mind at that point and didn’t want to leave. However, she did.

But this isn’t an issue with Chrissy’s actions at all. Whether she stayed or left the arena at Wrestlemania 24 (I believe it was), is completely irrelevant. This boils down to a class issue.

Let’s look at it this way. Chrissy Teigen is a well known female model, married to John Legend who has fame in his own right. They are both famous for their own things, not just for who they are married to, and so they both have their fortunes. They are considerably higher paid than the average family and have probably had their fair share of what most people would consider “once in a lifetime” things. (Simply going to America once was considered a “once in a lifetime event” for my family), Given this it’s unsurprising that people get their backs up when she’s getting official personal invitations to an event that she didn’t particularly want to be at originally. Contrast that with the hundreds of thousands of people who have admired wrestling for most of their lives, it’s something most people would kill to have. But, and now here’s the kicker for most people, why does she get it? Because she’s Chrissy Teigen. Her name has weight behind it, how much weight is irrelevant because it’s clearly more than Average Joe. Good publicity for the WWE too. But this is the rich benefiting from being rich. This is rich people helping each other out and hooking each other up with things.

I must concede that the WWE do a lot for charity. They have a Be A Star campaign, the Make A Wish moments that they do and Tributes To The Troops to name just a few. This I am not knocking, it’s a fair amount more than most companies do.

But, and here’s where my issue with things in life sit, what about the invisible upper-working class or the lower-middle class? This may seem absurd to a lot of people, in fact the only people who will probably understand this are those that fit into either of those categories because we know what it’s like to feel invisible.

WWE was my life for a very, very long time. Where I grew up it wasn’t socially acceptable to admit you liked it. Being British and liking Wrestling is sometimes viewed as a bit odd and I got bullied for liking it. And this didn’t stop when I went home. I had three older brothers who all thought Wrestling was a waste of time and my parents asked me pretty much everyday whether I had “grown out of it yet”. So I never got a reprise from the suggestion that wrestling was for children. And yet I pushed through.

But I was never an under-privileged kid, I always had food on the table and a roof over my head. Money was sometimes difficult but never “when will we eat again” difficult. I’ll happily admit that financially my family didn’t have it the worst. We didn’t have it the best either. We weren’t First Class passengers on planes and we had to look for cheap deals for holidays. Not awful but we couldn’t drop money like celebrities and we certainly weren’t jetting off to Wrestlemania anytime soon.

And so with my families disdain for WWE I was never going to go to a wrestling event. I still, to this day, have never been to one. My parents weren’t going to take me or even pay for me to go to one. (This is also the reason I don’t know a lot about British wrestling, I was barely allowed to watch RAW and Smackdown so they weren’t likely to take me to a local wrestling show).

But people like me apparently don’t have a right to complain. Why? Well, because our financial situation was good. Forget everything else in the world, if your financial situation is good then you’re viewed a certain way. It didn’t matter that even if my parents did have the money I wasn’t going to get to go. My parents wouldn’t even pay for Pay-Per-Views.

Now I don’t look down on those that benefit from the charity of the WWE. In fact I admire the charity work that the WWE does, it’s amazing and I love hearing the stories. But sometimes, and here’s where it gets a little bit bleak, I prayed to be in a position to receive it. Whether this meant, as a child, losing a limb or possibly being diagnosed with something terminal, for me they had benefits. Now I’ve spoken about this in my self-harm post but some days I don’t see the negatives of negative things and so my mind only sees the benefits of them. For me, on these days, my brain would only see that my chances of meeting WWE superstars were increased. It’s fairly difficult as a teenager not to self-mutilate when there only seems to be positives to doing it. But I have mental health problems, I’m not for one moment stating that’s the common mindset of everybody. All I can do is speak for myself.

And then, as you get older, you realise your chances dwindle with each passing year. The WWE do a lot of their work with children and so once you’re an adult you can basically kiss away your chances of meeting any of them. (Unless you join the US military but I’m British and the WWE doesn’t get involved with British military often, that I know of).

So I hope you can see how invisible we feel sometimes. Stuck in the middle with nobody really hearing our voices. We’re expected to be able to do stuff because we’re better off than some but we can’t do certain things because we’re not as well off as others. And then you see offers going to celebrities who, if they REALLY wanted to, could afford to go to every single Wrestlemania ever held. In fact the offers go to those in positions above and below you, but never to somebody like you. This is why it’s sometimes hard to stomach things like this, because I sometimes feel like I’m living in the invisible class and as much as I need help people won’t give it to me because they expect me to be able to help myself, even when I readily admit I can’t.

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say

So this, as I’m finding a lot, is inspired by a video that Shane Dawson recently put out. Say what you want about that man but he knows how to inspire me to write. Anyway, if you haven’t already then you can check out the video here.

So the video is called Confronting My Hater. Without spoiling too much of the video (it’s quite well done and is one of the more intelligent vlogs on YouTube these days) Shane Dawson finds somebody who has criticised his videos and decides to do some research. The person in question is Bobby Burns, a fellow YouTuber, who has critiqued multiple videos. Now this is only part one of I don’t know how many, but the idea is quite sound. At the end of the video you find out that Shane invites Bobby to his house so they can meet face-to-face and talk about things. Bobby accepts the invitation.

But, and now don’t get me wrong because I do like the concept of the video, I’m not sure entirely how I feel.

It’s Bobby that I question in this post (Shane, you’re safe for now, but if you ever want a critique then I’ll be more than happy to write one for you). Basically because Bobby, in his video, comes across quite well informed and researched. His take on Shane’s videos do sometimes stray into personal but the rhetoric Bobby uses is very clever and definitely convinces you to think the same way as he does.

But I question this whole idea of criticism. When I was a child I was raised on the phrase “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” That has all gone out of the window in the last few years, especially in the media circuit.

Shane addresses in his video that Bobby does what he does for views. And we can’t blame him for that. I’ve admitted I do what I do for views and attention, Shane has even admitted when he began that he done what he had to for views. It’s the worst kept secret to success really.

But I fear we put too much celebrity on controversial opinions. Bobby Burns gets invited to Shane Dawson’s house and collabs with him on videos just because he voiced a somewhat coherent critique in his videos. I say somewhat coherent because it’s not really backed up with evidence, a lot of it is just pure opinion and Bobby talks about manipulation as if he’s not doing the same thing in his videos. It’s clever, but it’s manipulation. It’s also only somewhat coherent because sometimes, as I’ve said, it strays into personal and that’s rarely constructive.

But this isn’t just Bobby Burns we’re talking about. Think of anybody and everybody who gets famous from criticising people without that criticism being constructive. Bobby Burns tells Shane Dawson to stop, what he should do is tell him what he thinks he should be doing to improve. That’s the difference between constructive and not. Give them something to build on, don’t just tear them down. But Bobby isn’t the only one; Milo Yiannopoulos, Katie Hopkins, Piers Morgan, Kanye West, Ann Coulter. All of these people could make a living based on their negativity and controversial tweets, quotes, words, etc. It’s a world where it’s easier to get noticed for doing something bad than for doing something good. Hell, even the current President of the United States Donald Trump got there because he ran a campaign of hate and controversy.

And so why do I talk about this? Perhaps because it’s an easy way to get famous but it’s at the expense of other people. It’s a culture that rewards the tearing down of others. We’re rewarding non-constructive criticism and then wondering why the world has low self-esteem. We’re giving platforms, views, tweets, videos, to people who can say whatever they damn well please and people are actually giving them the attention they need.

I’ve considered it many times and I honestly don’t know what stops me from doing it. When I readily admit that I do a lot of what I do for attention in the hopes that somebody might hear my cries for help and actually help, why don’t I take the easy road with controversy? Possibly because my need for attention conflicts with my desire to be liked and currently my desire to be liked wins out (although I’m scared of the day that ceases to be).

Also a part of me, as always, writes this out of jealousy. Bobby Burns strings together a somewhat convincing argument and gets invited to meet Shane Dawson while I’m still struggling to get noticed and help whilst being a nice person.

Also, the difference between what I do and what they do, I can actually admit that what I do is for people to notice me. If you proclaim you’re doing it for any other reason than to be controversial or to get attention then you’re wrong. You’re not constructive, you’re just attention seeking. Not saying there’s anything wrong with that, just admit it to yourself.