Friday, 14 October 2016

Reading, Lately: 5 Book Reviews

Reading, Lately: 5 Book Reviews (Book Pile)
It's super weird that I've never reviewed books on my blog before, because guys: I love to read. I love books. I could talk about books all day. I thought it was high time I got some book-related content up on ALG, so I've started with some reviews of the books I've read recently.

A few things:

Firstly, I like mini book reviews where a brief synopsis is included before the review rather than clumsily trying to avoid spoilers while writing my own summary, so that's the format I'm going for. Skip the italics if you don't like to know too much about a book before you read it.

Secondly, a friend of mine recently got his knickers in a twist about decimals in numerical scores ("just rate out of 100 if that's what you need"), so I'm restricting myself to the standard 5-star scoring system and I'm not allowed any half stars. Which is difficult.

Thirdly, I don't have photos of all of the books in this post because one is my sister's and one I lent to a friend. Forgive me.

Let's get on with it, shall we?

Thursday, 13 October 2016

You Have Nothing To Be Ashamed Of

Monday was World Mental Health Day, and while I didn't think I was up for blogging, I ended up writing a pretty long tweet thread and a hefty status on Facebook, too. Thought I'd publish the status on my blog as well because the message is important. No frills, no photos, just copy and paste. Take some time to care for yourself today, pals.

You can't see our illnesses, but that doesn't mean they aren't real, awful and often debilitating. The impact on our lives is huge, we are battling with our own minds most days. We are tired. And we're tired of being dismissed and discriminated against just because our illnesses are invisible.

Three weeks ago I went to a doctor because my depression and anxiety have got a lot worse since the last time I was getting medical help. My GP was ignorant, dismissive and uncaring. After telling him that most days I can't leave the flat, I was asked if I'd tried "going for a walk" to improve my mental health. Spoiler, educated doctor: if and when I am ABLE to “go for a walk”, sometimes my mood will improve, other times it won’t.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

10 Little Things For Down Days

Bookshelf (10 Little Pick Me Ups for Down Days)

I'm spending a lot of time on my own lately, dealing with suffocating cabin fever and battling anxiety in a frustrating vicious cycle. At times like this, it's easy to get into a bit of a rut, so I'm trying to focus on doing at least something good for the soul each day, if and when I am able.

Sure, none of these things are exactly revolutionary but this post can serve as a reminder - probably more for me - that a) it is possible to blog something even at your lowest and b) when they are possible, the little things do actually make a difference so go and shower right now.

Talking to friends and family aside, here's the things I do when I'm feeling a bit rubbish - and leaving the house isn't an option - to get myself out of my downward spiral:

Friday, 5 August 2016

ALG July/August Playlist (ft Stranger Things Soundtrack)

ALG July/August Playlist

Over lunch recently, ZoĆ« and I were discussing playlist blog posts and how it seems like nobody cares, when she said that they aren't about that; they're self-indulgent. I couldn't agree more: it's nice to spend some time each month (or, you know, every two months...) being completely present in the music I'm listening to and putting together the perfect assembly of tracks to represent the last 30 (ahem, 60) days.

I did a Twitter poll on this because I was curious, and the "score" at time of writing is extremely mixed...

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

"50 Things To Teach Your Daughters": An Edit

"50 Things To Teach Your Daughters": An Edit (Beyonce, Ivy Blue)


You sent me the link to a post on Facebook (Dawn French's fan page, to be precise) entitled "50 Things To Teach Your Daughters" and I so appreciate the gesture, but I was a bit nervous to even open it because I suspected--rightly--that I'd find it, y'know, problematic.

I know sometimes you think that I'm just looking for things to be annoyed about, but you have to understand that I care about the "small things" because they are part of a bigger picture; they help make up the foundations of bigger, more damaging problems. These things are important to me not because I'm a contrarian, but because they are important.

I bolded the ones I agree with (30.5/50 - see? I'm a reasonable person) and left some without comment because they were weird or simply hard to comment on.
Hope it makes sense to you!
P.S. Dawn almost definitely did not write it herself, sorry to break it to you. In fact, I think I found the original on Meraki Lane here.

P.P.S. I know you're a Christian, so some of these things--namely, the ones about sex--might not fit your beliefs; it's the overall message that's important, though, as I'm sure you'll understand!

P.P.P.S these aren't, like, the lessons I personally would want to teach my daughter... just my edits. Although thanks for the content inspo!

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Taking A Breather

Taking A Breather | A Little Grey

Last month I tweeted that I was having a good mental health week, the best in years, but then I woke up a few days later and all the noise was back, after eight days of quiet. I thought maybe it would be okay, because at least I had those good days, right? But it's not okay. To be honest, it feels everything but okay.

Mostly I've been working on drowning out the constant stream of self-insults and overcoming the suffocation I feel sometimes simply for being in my own skin. Every now and then I leave the house, but usually I don't. Sometimes I find the words I'm searching for, but more often than not, writer's block wins. I've lost a great deal of interest in a lot of the stuff I love, and that sucks. Motivation is out the window, too, and I can't focus on anything for long.

It's frustrating and boring and disappointing and I'm really angry about it, but there's not a whole lot I can do right now.

So, yeah... it's been a little quiet around here this past few months, and it's probably gonna stay that way for a while longer, too; I have to figure some stuff out and start using the little energy I have to get some new projects rolling, reply to people I need to reply to. Basically: I'm gonna try my best to get (some) shit done, you know?

I guess I wanted to say that I'm still about, just not so present. Bear with me.

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