Sunday, March 31, 2013

I had a nosebleed while I was driving. I didn't have any tissue, I couldn't stop the car to find an alternative and I was wearing my favourite coat so didn't want to just use my sleeve, so I had to let it run into my mouth. While I was at traffic lights, there was eye contact with the woman in the car next to me. And her children. I had blood all over my teeth. I didn't know what to do, so I smiled at them. They looked horrified. I licked my lips.


After doing too many squats the day before, my legs were very stiff and painful. I crouched down quickly to unplug the heater at work and made noises that sounded like something from a traumatic episode of One Born Every Minute.


 I gained a pound and sulked for a whole day. My friend assured me it was obviously a pound of solid muscle, but that was obviously all lies and I'm a huge monster that no one will love. 


I wore lots of heels. I've decided, after 25 years of not enjoying wearing heels, that I do like wearing heels. I'm taller than everyone else without them, so I might as well be loads taller with pretty shoes.

This morning I woke up, got clean and did my hair and make up. I went in the kitchen to start breakfast; I took some bacon out of the fridge, carefully laid it on the grill tray, turned the grill on, set the temperature and went back to my room to get changed while it cooked. I came back, and realised I had forgotten quite an important part of the bacon making process.

I am bloody useless.

I've been trying to give blood for about a month and failing. I've never had a problem before, usually I just walk in and the worst case scenario is that I'll have to queue for half an hour. So far I've:

- gone to the walk in donor centre twice, and been told they have no spaces left at all that day
- tried to book online 4 times (More of a pain than it sounds; you have to send individual requests then wait for an email back) and been told there were no spaces left on those days
- registered for a fancy online donor service which means I should be able to book my appointments myself, but whatever day or venue I pick it tells me there's nothing available.

Either they just really don't want my blood, the country is suddenly over run with donors (unlikely) or I'm being incredibly unlucky (highly probable). I'm actually going to have to give in and ring the donor helpline and talk to another person, which disgusts me more than I like to admit. Bring on the day when help lines are staffed by robots.

So, with my current attempts at being philanthropic not going so well, I decided to look into other things I can give, so I've started the process of egg donation. It's a long one; I've already done the initial application and health questionnaires, and I'm waiting on an appointment for a blood test and some counselling to make sure I fully understand the implications. If I was successful, I'd have to inject myself daily exactly as if I was about to undergo IVF myself, then have a small operation for them to harvest my eggs. I would be told if any babies had been born as a a result of my eggs and any of those babies would have the right to my details once they turned 18. This doesn't bother me because I imagine I'd find it fascinating to meet anyone genetically related to me; I'd want to know if they were anything like me at all.

Anyway, we'll see how it goes. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

1. Sometimes people give you gifts, and that's awkward because then you're in their debt, even if you don't like them. Or because it feels like you have to buy them a present when it's their next birthday. Buying presents is awkward.

2. People ask you what you're doing, and feel sorry for you if you're doing nothing and that's awkward because normal people have friends they do stuff with.

3. People expect you to eat cake. I like cake but sugar makes me feel sick. I don't want to feel sick, but it's like you're not fun or carefree enough if you refuse the cake, because surely your birthday is the one day you should just eat the cake right?

4. If you do go out people expect you to be having fun all the time because it's your birthday. That's a lot of pressure. Pressure isn't fun.

5. People sometimes buy you big silly badges to wear which make me feel even more awkward because then EVERY person knows it's your birthday and there's even more pressure not to be miserable.

6. People expect you to drink and I don't really like to drink because I do stupid stuff that makes me feel bad.

7. Ringing people up and saying thank you for cards is awkward, because I only talk to them a few times a year and I can never think of anything to say.

8. Awkward awkward awkward.

Friday, March 22, 2013

"Maybe there's more to life than being really, really, really rediculously good looking?" - Derek Zoolander

After being hit on by the petrol station cashier (Apparently those men have a type, and it is me) a guy took a liking to me, blocked my car in with his car, and wouldn't move it until I'd listened to his rambling plea to take me to dinner. I didn't enjoy the experience. I didn't want to be rude but blocking me in wasn't cool.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

1. The Photographer

Typical conversation:

Photographer: Your photos are incredible. What camera do you use? I use a Canon Blah Blah-X50 blah blah. I would like to take pictures of you sometime. You would make a wonderful model.
Me: My photos are all quite obviously taken by myself using an iPhone. Did you just send me a copy and paste message?
Photographer: No, you are quite the model!
Me: Yes yes, I'm unusually attractive, I know.
Photographer: I would like to take photos of you. It would be good for your career. I see you are interested in being a model.
Me: I've never expressed any interest in being a model.
Photographer: I have my own studio in my basement. Please come to my basement.

2. The Trickster

On one occasion, I got contacted by 3 profiles in a row, quite obviously from the same person, with near identical messages trying to get me to cam verify. 

Typical conversation:

Trickster: People are saying all over the forums/chat rooms/site that you're a fake! I'm here to help you!
Me: I doubt even if I was a fake anyone would be interested.
Trickster: There is no need to be rude, I want to help. All you need is to go on webcam with me now so I can tell everyone you're real.
Me: I don't know you, I'd rather not cam verify. See the nice proof shot on my profile? That will have to do.

3. The Copy/Paste

Surely it can't be that hard to write a few lines of original text for anyone you message/

Typical conversation:

CopyPaste: Hello, I saw your profile and you are very beautiful. I love your feet. I notice we have similar interests in shibari, nipple torture and age play. I wouldn't normally do this, but my mobile number is 07XXXXXXXXX and my Yahoo is . We are going to have so much fun.
Me: I don't show my feet on my profile, and none of those things are listed as an interest of mine. Also, people still use Yahoo?!
CopyPaste: Please talk to me.

A couple of years ago, I started to feel incredibly anxious. It was quite a new feeling to me; I've always been a bit of a worrier, but my personality is very calm in general, so feeling unusually anxious was very new to me.

It started with feeling nervous about crowded places, like supermarkets. I was a bit afraid by the unpredictability of the crowd itself - there's too many people for me to feel really in control of my surroundings - but it was mainly just because I felt like I didn't belong there. Like people would be looking at me and judging what I was buying, or would look at me and realise that the crowd was panicking me. I avoided going unless I really had to. I'd try and buy food I could keep in the freezer or would last a long time, to minimise the amount of times I'd have to go out.

I was having problems with my housemates. One of them was a bully, and accused me of making a mess whenever I stepped out of my room. He was a neat freak, and would always have something to complain about, even when I was really careful to clean up after myself. One time he got mad because I left the sponge on "the wrong side of the sink" and another time he got mad because I had my phone AND my laptop in the living room with me at the same time. Whenever I spent time out of my room, he would "inspect" the area afterwards, even if I went to the bathroom. I avoided leaving my room. I'd try and cook as quickly as possible, or just order takeaways. I never went into the living room, and just stayed in my bedroom. When I needed the bathroom I'd just hold it in til he left the house. If I got really desperate for the bathroom I'd get really panicky, and I'd get so wound up I'd have a headache.

I started getting nervous around shops where you have to ask for help. I've always felt a little awkward about that, but it got worse. I felt like I was in the way, and causing trouble, like I was annoying and the person wouldn't want to deal with me anyway. I felt like everyone else knew what to say when they asked for help, but I didn't. I stopped shopping anywhere where I had to deal with sales staff. I ordered things online whenever I could. Whenever I did have to interact with customer service, I would spend hours analysing everything I said afterwards.

Group situations, like parties, became impossible. I had no idea what to say to anyone. Everyone else would seem like they were relaxed, natural and having a great time and I would feel exactly the opposite. I felt bad because I felt like I should know how to have fun and make friends. I felt like if people looked at me they'd be able to see how awkward I felt, and would judge me for it.

I was diagnosed with social anxiety. Some of my anxiety spilled over into other areas of my life, but it was mainly over social situations. Social anxiety is so frustrating because I've always being perfectly aware of how unreasonable all of my fears are; I just feel anxious anyway. For example, I work in a shop myself. I know that it doesn't bother me when a customer asks for help, especially if they're polite. That I don't stand there judging and evaluating them on how relaxed they look. But I was still scared of doing it myself. And I'd beat myself up for being that awkward.

I think, because anxiety disorders are so irrational by nature, people found it very hard to understand and be sympathetic. They'd just be like, "You know you're being stupid, right?" which was frustrating because I know how stupid I'm being better than anybody. It didn't change how real the fear was for me; I'd sweat, my throat would go dry, I'd shake, I'd panic, I'd feel like my skin was burning up, I'd struggle breathing. It was real, and it was physical. And it turned it into a bit of a bad cycle; the more physical symptoms I got, the more worried I'd be that people would notice them, which made my reaction stronger.

I think the main thing that helped me was stopping beating myself up. Accepting that my fears are real, and it's not my fault that my brain is wired that way. There's nothing I can do about my emotions; but my reactions to them, that is something I can control.

I tried cognitive behavioral therapy for a while. My therapist would look at my fears in detail, and ask me things like, "So even if this person you'll never meet again did judge you - which you say yourself is very unlikely - why does that worry you?" At the time I felt like it was kind of stupid; I already knew my fears were irrational. However, afterwards I did find it helped me to think things through like that.

After a while, I was brave enough to do things that I normally avoided. They went fine. If something made me particularly nervous, I'd ask friends to come with me, which helped me get used to things. Going to the supermarket doesn't bother me at all now, unless it's a branch I don't normally go to. I like knowing where things are. Pet shops used to always give me panic attacks, and when I bought Butterball the other week I didn't even break out into a sweat, though I did feel a bit uncomfortable still.

No one could tell though. I feel pretty confident of that. I guess I'm getting better.

Monday, March 11, 2013

I eventually got a picture of my fish Butterball from the front. It made me happy. I think you will understand why when you look at the photo.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

This morning my mother asked me, "Have you met the man you're going to marry yet?" I told her I had no idea. She then went on to give me relationship advice, which I can sum up as, "Don't bother waiting for an attractive man, because all the handsome ones get fat anyway." Thanks, Mum.

I had to buy new clothes in a smaller size than normal today. It feels weird. I keep on trying them on to check they actually fit and it's not just wishful thinking.  I still feel like it's a problem eith with the label and I'm making it up. This will take a whi l

Edit: Ha, I fell asleep writing this. No idea what the last sentence was going to be!