Money and bipolar disorder.


Having a mental illness, particularly bipolar disorder can be bad for your bank account. Feeling anxious? buy something. Feeling low? treat yourself. Feeling reckless? shopping spree. 

There's a direct link to shopping addiction and depression and anxiety. Over the years I have used spending as a way to cheer myself up and find I get a buzz from finding a bargain, or buying something I have been lusting after. Once that initial feeling has gone I am left feeling guilty, deflated and broke. Here are some tips I've picked up along the way that have helped...

1. Don't go to the shops unless you need something. If you do need something write a list and stick to it.
2. Be mindful of your social media. Unfollow brand accounts and leave facebook sale groups so you won't be tempted. Unsubscribe from sales emails.
3. Don't be tempted to 'just browse'. Whether this is online shopping or at actual shops: don't do it! Find a distraction, maybe go for a walk at the park instead or do some reading.
4. If you feel like you need to buy something have a tidy up first. Reorganise your belongings- sort your wardrobe, tidy your bookshelf etc... This might put you off and make you realise you don't need to add to it.
5. If you do need to satisfy a spending craving try looking round some charity shops or go to a car boot sale, that way you won't be spending too much money and you can still get a buzz if you find a bargain.
6. Ask yourself: do you need it? Where will it go in your home? When will you use it? Picture it. Give it an hour and then come back again and decide.
7. Something I've found that helps is to make a folder on my laptop which I fill with things I want to buy. Strange as it sounds having a picture of the item is sometimes enough and eventually I find I don't want it anymore and delete the photo. I also find the save feature on Instagram is good for this too.
8. Budget all your outgoings- if you can see your spending written down clearly it can make you more mindful of what you buy. One of the problems I had was that I wouldn't look at my bank account as I didn't want to know. It made it easier to keep on spending and sometimes the only thing that would stop me was when the card declined.
9. Cut up all credit cards. This is an obvious one but they are bad news if you are feeling spendy. Some people find drawing a certain amount of cash on and only carry that helps too.
10. Once you have paid bills and bought essentials transfer the rest of your money to a seperate account/savings account/ premium bonds etc... Anything that is no risk and where your money is safe but is harder for you to get to.
11. Find less reckless ways to satisfy the urge to spend. Try some self care techniques, take up some hobbies.
12. If all else fails ask a trusted family member/ partner etc... to help you take charge of your money. They can help you make sure you stay on top of your bills, have money for food and be tough when you are tempted to have a spree of make an unnecessary purchase.

Useful articles:
Shopping addiction guide
Shopping and the brain
Money and Mental Health
Impulse Spending and Bipolar Disorder

June Pride TBR.


June is pride month and I am reading only books featuring characters or written by those in the LGBTQIA+ community. I have pulled together this tbr from books on my shelf...

We Are Okay by Nina Lacour
"Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart."

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
"The 50 contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras.
But sadly, their airplane had another idea, crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner. 
What’s a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program - or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan - or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?

Welcome to the heart of non-exfoliated darkness."


Pulp by Robin Talley (not pictured)
"In 1955, eighteen-year-old Janet Jones keeps the love she shares with her best friend Marie a secret. It’s not easy being gay in Washington, DC, in the age of McCarthyism, but when she discovers a series of books about women falling in love with other women, it awakens something in Janet. As she juggles a romance she must keep hidden and a newfound ambition to write and publish her own story, she risks exposing herself—and Marie—to a danger all too real.

Sixty-two years later, Abby Zimet can’t stop thinking about her senior project and its subject—classic 1950s lesbian pulp fiction. Between the pages of her favorite book, the stresses of Abby’s own life are lost to the fictional hopes, desires and tragedies of the characters she’s reading about. She feels especially connected to one author, a woman who wrote under the pseudonym “Marian Love,” and becomes determined to track her down and discover her true identity."


The Big Lie by Julie Mayhew
A startling coming-of-age novel set in a contemporary Nazi England.
Jessika Keller is a good girl: she obeys her father, does her best to impress Herr Fisher at the Bund Deutscher M├Ądel meetings and is set to be a world champion ice skater. Her neighbour Clementine is not so submissive. Outspoken and radical, Clem is delectably dangerous and rebellious. And the regime has noticed. Jess cannot keep both her perfect life and her dearest friend. But which can she live without?

THE BIG LIE is a thought-provoking and beautifully told story that explores ideas of loyalty, sexuality, protest and belief."

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson
"Two boys. Two secrets.
David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he’s gay. The school bully thinks he’s a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth – David wants to be a girl. 
On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal – to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in year eleven is definitely not part of that plan. 
When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long…"

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
"When Cameron Post's parents die suddenly in a car crash, her shocking first thought is relief. Relief they'll never know that, hours earlier, she had been kissing a girl.

But that relief doesn't last, and Cam is soon forced to move in with her conservative aunt Ruth and her well-intentioned but hopelessly old-fashioned grandmother. She knows that from this point on, her life will forever be different. Survival in Miles City, Montana, means blending in and leaving well enough alone (as her grandmother might say), and Cam becomes an expert at both.

Then Coley Taylor moves to town. Beautiful, pickup-driving Coley is a perfect cowgirl with the perfect boyfriend to match. She and Cam forge an unexpected and intense friendship--one that seems to leave room for something more to emerge. But just as that starts to seem like a real possibility, ultra religious Aunt Ruth takes drastic action to "fix" her niece, bringing Cam face-to-face with the cost of denying her true self--even if she's not exactly sure who that is."


Her Body & Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
"A wife refuses her husband's entreaties to remove the green ribbon from around her neck. A woman recounts her sexual encounters as a plague slowly consumes humanity. A salesclerk in a mall makes a horrifying discovery within the seams of the store's prom dresses. One woman's surgery-induced weight loss results in an unwanted houseguest. And in the bravura novella Especially Heinous, Machado reimagines every episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a show we naively assumed had shown it all, generating a phantasmagoric police procedural full of doppelgangers, ghosts, and girls with bells for eyes.

Earthy and otherworldly, antic and sexy, queer and caustic, comic and deadly serious, Her Body and Other Parties swings from horrific violence to the most exquisite sentiment. In their explosive originality, these stories enlarge the possibilities of contemporary fiction."

More Than This by Patrick Ness
"A boy drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments. He dies. Then he wakes, naked and bruised and thirsty, but alive. How can this be? And what is this strange deserted place?

As he struggles to understand what is happening, the boy dares to hope. Might this not be the end? Might there be more to this life, or perhaps this afterlife?"

Between You and Me by Marisa Calin
"Phyre knows there is something life-changing about her new drama teacher, Mia, from the moment they meet. As Phyre rehearses for the school play, she comes to realize that the unrequited feelings she has for Mia go deeper than she’s ever experienced. Especially with a teacher. Or a woman. All the while, Phyre’s best friend—addressed throughout the story in the second person, as "you"—stands by, ready to help Phyre make sense of her feelings. But just as Mia doesn’t understand what Phyre feels, Phyre can’t fathom the depth of her best friend’s feelings . . . until it’s almost too late for a happy ending. Characters come to life through the innovative screenplay format of this dazzling debut, and unanswered questions—is "you" male or female?—will have readers talking."

The Gender Games by Juno Dawson
"'It's a boy!' or 'It's a girl!' are the first words almost all of us hear when we enter the world. Before our names, before we have likes and dislikes - before we, or anyone else, has any idea who we are. And two years ago, as Juno Dawson went to tell her mother she was (and actually, always had been) a woman, she started to realise just how wrong we've been getting it.

Gender isn't just screwing over trans people, it's messing with everyone. From little girls who think they can't be doctors to teenagers who come to expect street harassment. From exclusionist feminists to 'alt-right' young men. From men who can't cry to the women who think they shouldn't. As her body gets in line with her mind, Juno tells not only her own story, but the story of everyone who is shaped by society's expectations of gender - and what we can do about it.

Featuring insights from well-known gender, feminist and trans activists including Rebecca Root, Laura Bates, Gemma Cairney, Anthony Anaxagorou, Hannah Witton, Alaska Thunderfuck and many more, The Gender Games is a frank, witty and powerful manifesto for a world where what's in your head is more important than what's between your legs."


Also....
Over You by Amy Reed, Any Other Mouth by Anneliese Mackintosh, If I was Your Girl by Meredith Russo, The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith, Batwoman and Young Avengers!

Point Horror: 90s nostaligia

The 90s were my decade, and since turning 30 I've found myself getting nostalgic for all things 90s. All my childhood/ teen belongings were lost to a flood (RIP to my beanie baby, polly pocket and goosebumps collection) so whenever I see stuff from my childhood at charity shops I can't resist. 

One of my childhood favourites were the teen horror fiction collection: Point Horror. I loved these books and had a huge collection of them. I especially love the covers- kind of a very 90s take on pulp fiction book covers. I've managed to get a collection going again and plan on rereading them over the Summer! 

So here's a look at the books I've found so far...


The book covers tend to always have a raised metallic title in classic 90s fonts. Dream Date is definitely one of my favourite covers. I also love the cheesy taglines each book cover has...

"Sweet dreams... and rest in peace"


The Girlfriend and The Waitress are also definitely in my top covers list too.

"The customer is always wrong. Dead wrong"
What books take you back to your childhood?

Right Now: May 2019


Watching: I've been ill the last couple of weeks so finally got round to watching Fleabag and finishing S5 of Brooklyn 99. I've Just started watching Russian Doll on Netflix, and have also been enjoying watching abstract painting videos on YT, as well as the channel First We Feast.
Reading: I've just started The Big Lie by Julie Mayhew and am listening to the audiobook of Girls Will Be Girls by Emer 0'Toole
Listening: 


Eating: Catching up on easter chocolate from when I was ill
Wearing: At the moment I am being boring and pretty much living in Qwertee tshirts and jeans
Doing: Reading, painting anything that might help with my anxiety
Feeling: Quite low
Achievements: I passed 70 sales in my Etsy!
Goals: Reach 80 Etsy sales, complete uni assignment

New books.


I am so behind on my new books posts (my 2019 book buying ban has been going great, thanks for asking!) so I am going to keep this one kind of brief today. Quite a few of these are 'booktube made me buy it' mixed with 'anxiety made me buy it!'.

The Big Lie is a feminist dystopian (which had me from the get go) set in an England where the nazi's won WW2. There's also a f/f romance, it sounds brilliant. Fierce Fragile Hearts is a sequel to Sara Barnards book Beautiful Broken Things, which I really enjoyed (YA, mental health, friendship). So Sad Today is an essay collection centred on mental health, and Hunger is a memoir from feminist spokesperson Roxane Gay that has a focus on her life as a plus size woman.

American Housewife is a satirical short story collection about American suburbia. I Must Have You is set in 1999, and explores eating disorders and mental health through the eyes of three women and And She Was is about a teen who finds out her mother is a trans woman who was actually her biological father (I've since looked this up on Goodreads and a lot of reviews are saying it is transphobic so I may not keep this one).


I got another of the Faber Stories, this time Sylvia Plath- this is the first time the original version of this story has been published. We Are Okay is a YA- I haven't read any of Nina Lacour yet but I have a feeling I am really going to enjoy this (also, the cover is beautiful). I am a huge fan of Miranda July and so I'm super excited to have got a signed copy of It Chooses You which is essentially Miranda visiting people that have placed random classified ads to sell something and going to meet them and interview them. It looks like it's going to be fun and quirky. Ayoade on Ayoade: A Cinematic Odyssey is Richard interviewing himself about film and I am sure it will be as witty and wonderful as the man himself.


Finally, I struck GOLD at the charity shop with some Goosebumps books! I loved these when I was a kid, I remember reading Welcome To Dead House before bed and getting nightmares (my Dad told me maybe it was best to stop reading it, so I never finished it!) I love the slime covers and just looking at them gives me so much nostalgia!

I have bipolar and here are some tips I have learnt.



I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder for quite a few years now (memories too bad to tell you exactly how long, ha!) and although I wouldn't say I have it under total control I have learnt a number of things that help me to manage it better. Of course I am still learning, but I wanted to share my most helpful tips today and hopefully you will find them useful too.


1. Get to know your triggers 
This is probably the most important thing you can do when it comes to learning to manage your symptoms better. Make a note of things that 'set' off an episode, and look for patterns of certain things that come up often. You will gradually have a list of triggers. Some of mine include being physically ill (even something simple like a cold), lack of sleep, the new year, getting a disappointing uni grade, and getting up really early. Some of your triggers you can avoid, other unavoidable ones (like a certain season etc...) you can pre-empt and be more prepared for. It's also useful to let your family and friends now what your triggers are too so that they can support you better. 

2. find helpful coping strategies
Following on from finding what your triggers are it is equally as important to find what works for you when it comes to coping strategies. That way you can pre-empt a trigger with your tried and tested coping methods and avoid or at least reduce your episode so it is easier to deal with. Again, different things work for different people but some of mine include taking a few days out to destress, using my self care tips (see my posts here), be around family, spend time with my pets, take a walk somewhere nice, watching my favourite films, get plenty of sleep, if necessary double up my meds (check with your doctor first). 

3. Recognise negative coping strategies and avoid them
 It's also useful to recognise your negative coping mechanisms and avoid them. For instance when I have a depressive episode I will isolate myself, which in the long term does not help and makes my symptoms worse. Likewise I am also prone to having spending sprees online to try and cheer myself up, smoking and unhealthy binge eating which again can end up adding to the episode. It could be useful to make a list of things to avoid and alternative things you could do instead, as when you are in that mindset it is a lot more difficult. Even simple things like avoiding watching sad films, or not reading the news makes a difference!

4. Talk to someone
This piece of advice is thrown around often, and is a lot easier said than done. When you are in an episode you either feel like you can't say or you don't recognise it. I often tell myself it will pass and I can get through it on my own, of course then it gets worse and I realise I can't. I find it really difficult to communicate about my moods and have found a good way to get around this is to use a mood scale. There are two examples below. Save it to your phone and send it to a friend or family member. You can check in with them by simply giving them the number or colour of how you are feeling without having to say anything else. This makes asking for help or alerting someone that you are struggling a lot easier. 







5. Don't forget to take your meds!
This is important, if you are medicated don't miss a dose and don't just stop taking them- even if you feel like it's a good idea, talk to a doctor first. If I miss one dose I can't sleep and don't feel good. If it helps get a daily pill sorter or mark in a diary or calendar when you have taken them. Bad memory bipolar badasses unite!

Managing your bipolar involves a lot of lists! I hope these tips are helpful and if you have any of your own please let me know.




Primark haul.

Can you tell I like earrings?! The bigger and tacky the better. Most of these were reduced to just a £1 each too!

If you want some cheap and comfortable sandals for Summer I recommend these ones. They are just £6 and are basically rip off Birkenstocks. They are really comfy too. The cushion was cute and reduced to £3, I think it's from a youtubers collection but I have no idea who tbh.

So Primark have cute stationery now... The cherry pom pom pen is SCENTED. 

Well that's my little Primark haul and this caption is amazing.