what really happened during our holiday

After deciding to speak out about my issues, I’ve almost immediately ended up worrying that I’m boring everyone with being the ‘Debbie Downer’ when telling people who’ve asked how I am actually how I’m doing (spoiler alert, it’s been pretty rough lately).

But fuck it – I’ve been worrying more that I said I was going to go beyond the rose-tinted glasses, yet have posted pictures of all of the best parts of my holiday online with no further comment. Now, I’m not going to pretend that people with anxiety or depression can’t ever write posts or share pictures about the good parts of their lives; I would just like to point out that it wasn’t quite as good as it appears to be.

It took me a whole day of being inside our flat in Budapest to recover from the flight, or more specifically, going through airport security. I also went to the dental appointment I’d talked about making in my ‘dentists and depression go hand in hand’ post, which was not a fun experience. Long story short: private dentists still run forty minutes late after forcing you into an 8:30am appointment and I don’t have the thousands of pounds that I need for treatment. (It’s a long shot, but my friends actually made a GoFundMe for the treatment I need https://www.gofundme.com/jade039s-dental-treatment if you have anything you can spare it would be greatly appreciated.)

The picture of me gleefully riding a bike in front of the stunning parliament building in Budapest obviously doesn’t show that, a couple of days previously a few feet from where that picture was taken, I had burst into tears the first time we hired bikes which was my idea in the first place because of my anxiety.

The good part though, after some reassurance from my partner and a short walk to the cycle path, we managed to ride along the river Danube in the sunshine to Margitsziget, a quiet island with fountains and pedal carts and the ruins of a convent. We rode around the entire island having a great time and I even managed to ride down the road through the center because it was quiet. As quite often happens, something that seemed scary actually wasn’t the more I persevered. I’m glad that following the first hiccup I got back on the bike and carried on, allowing us to explore parts of Budapest we might not have otherwise.

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I’ve also changed my cover photo to this glorious picture of me pretending to be a fancy person, but it obviously doesn’t show that we had to leave the museum early before exploring half of it because I was just so fucking exhausted and couldn’t deal with walking around it any more. I’m a cup of tea personified; my range for the perfect temperature is very, very slight. I’m too cold, too cold, too cold, just right and then too hot. And then way too hot. And man was it hot that day. So although we managed to see some cool stuff and get some cool pictures, I still felt bad that Cripps couldn’t look at the rest of the museum. I swear half of my relationship is me feeling guilty that my anxiety and/or Jade-isms have such an impact on my other half, even though he is always understanding and accommodating.

We had some really good points on the holiday, but it was very taxing at the same time. I’m not trying to pretend I don’t ever have fun, or that ‘normal’ people don’t ever find things difficult, I just wanted to share the side of the holiday that the pictures don’t show.

 

 

 

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if you just work hard and don’t go out you can afford to buy a house

I overheard a conversation the other day between a 21 year old man and a 60+ year old man. Unfortunately due to the fact that I was simply eavesdropping, I couldn’t interject, so I decided to write about it.

The 21 year old was telling the older man about the fact that he’s buying a house, to which the older man said ‘Oh good for you. You hear so many young people these days saying they can’t afford things.’

The 21 year old agreed, saying that all he’s done is worked hard, not gone out and eaten meals at home rather than going to restaurants and voila, he’s buying his first home. One of the worst things about this is that the young man really thinks he’s been able to do something that barely any Gen Z/millennials are managing at the moment, simply because of his ‘hard work’ and  self sacrifice.

Whilst quietly thinking to myself that I too rarely if ever eat out, worked hard at university to get a 1st class degree and have been working ever since, yet I am still house-less, I also remembered a comic by an Auckland-based illustrator, Toby Morris (below).

This Gen Z is managing to buy a house at his age because he has barely any outgoings due to the fact that he lives at home, with parents that haven’t had to ask for contributions to rent, and are in the position where they can pay all outgoings for his car. This has resulted in him being able to save 80+% of his monthly wage to go directly towards buying this house.

For myself, and the majority of millennials, two thirds of my monthly wage disappears into the ether through annoying outgoings including, but in no way limited to, feeding myself and keeping a roof over my head.

Once I have paid for my bills, gym and phone subscriptions and other such outgoings, I am left with a luxurious third of my wage which is available to be saved and spent as I wish. After saving half of what’s left, I have a wonderful £70 a week until payday. If I want to visit friends or family, I have to travel by train which will usually all but eradicate that week’s budget in one fell swoop. If anything breaks or goes wrong I’m screwed and scraping for the pennies, or having to dip into those house savings to avoid going into debt. All of this just to end up, ideally, at absolute £0 in time for payday or, most probably, slightly into my overdraft.

If I continue in this way, it will take me 6 and a quarter years of ‘working hard and not going out’ to buy myself a house. Oh the joys.

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Can I just say that ever being in a position to buy a house means I am also privileged. Simply being able to have gone to uni, despite being among some of the poorest students there, I was still privileged and it opened doors for me to get into the office job that I have at the moment. I am in no way claiming that I do not also benefit from privilege, because I do, in many more ways than I have outlined here.

I’m just taking a moment to lament that I’m in such a different position to someone who at that point in time does not recognise the privileged position he is in to be buying a house now, and that baby boomers judge young people for ‘not being able to afford things’ when they reaped the economic advantage of the time and were able to buy a house with the combined income of less than half of my yearly salary, with none of my qualifications.

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The comic below does an amazing job at illustrating the difference of opportunity between Richard and Paula, and Richard’s blindness to the advantages he’s been given in life.

On a Plateon-a-plate-2on-a-plate-3
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dentists and depression go hand in hand

I’ve reached a new low in my life, and that’s saying something. As someone who gets anxiety attacks which cause me to burst into tears in public, once even punching a wall (and squashing a lovely ring) because everything had gotten too much and I was so angry with myself for being me, for not being able to handle ‘normal things’, and making a show of myself in public again. So yes, I feel like it’s a feat now to reach a ‘new’ low.

Today I started weeping in the dentist chair because I was told I need £2,000 worth of dental treatment, and ‘no we don’t do payment plans’. I’ll never know why so many dental surgeries don’t have the option to pay in instalments for expensive treatments, as though they’re not asking for 4 months’ rent in one go, for more than my monthly salary just like that; like I obviously have this money lying around waiting to be spent.

My poor dentist-turned-therapist was great actually, she got me a drink of water and some alone time to talk, but she misunderstood why I was crying. She thought the news of the treatment I needed was the shock but no, it’s being given my treatment ‘options’ yet knowing they aren’t options at all. I can’t afford 99% of them and even then, affording the cheapest one is going to be a struggle.

What’s worse is being questioned about why I need such extensive treatment as a 24-year-old that doesn’t drink fizzy drinks, smoke, drink tea/coffee with sugar or any other textbook reasons for requiring dental treatment. I was too ashamed to croak out between sobs that it’s because I suffered so badly from depression throughout my teens and at uni that I would go days, sometimes weeks at a time, without brushing my teeth, washing myself or even going outside. Much to the detriment of my oral health, grades and social life.

No, I couldn’t bring myself to admit that it’s all my fault; that I’ve brought this on myself. And that although I got a bit better after a bout of extensive dental work that my friend’s Dad so kindly paid for – because I couldn’t afford it – I know that my self-care is slipping again as I sink bank into feeling as hopeless as I did before.

So the dentist prints off the list of my ‘options’ – £2,000 for this, £1,500 for that, with the cheapest treatment being £800.  I then have to go to reception, parading my red puffy face and bloodshot eyes for the receptionists and other patients alike. I really feel like I’m at a high point in my life. I then fight back more tears as I have to pay almost £100 for today and tell myself that I need to keep it together until I get home, then I can let it all out. But lo, as soon as I’m on the street I burst into tears. Again. Gotta love that public crying. Thankfully the dental clinic is around the corner from my flat, which I eventually reach and then sob in the arms of my partner for quite some time; crying not only for the treatment that I can’t afford but for yet another issue that has arisen from depression. Talk about salt being rubbed into the wound.

I found out today that some antidepressants cause issues with your teeth, so you really can’t win. You’re either depressed without medication and poor self-care, which results in dental issues, or you’re depressed and on medication that causes dental issues. Why isn’t there some kind of subsidy for this? I also get chest pains and palpitations as a symptom of my anxiety, which I’ve had scans at the doctors for, so why aren’t there treatment options for other physical impacts of depression/anxiety?

Eye

I’m writing this almost six hours later and my eyes still hurt from the crying. At the ripe old age of 23 the blood vessels around my eyes gave up; they’ve been through so many hysterical crying fits that they burst each time I cry reasonably hard now. And man have I cried hard today, so now I look like I’ve been punched in the left eye. My partner said that people will think he’s hit me, which I can’t stop worrying about whilst running the errands I have no choice but to run in the state I’m in today because shit’s gotta get done.

Sometimes I wish I had told people how hard it is to do tiny, menial things that most ‘normal’ people can do without batting an eye. Brushing my teeth, getting out of bed in the morning, dragging myself into the shower, going to the Post Office, ‘chatting’ to people. All of these things take such an effort that sometimes I wish I could get some recognition just for managing to do them, because it was hard but I managed it. But no, unfortunately as an adult you don’t get a pat on the back for basic self care, or for posting a package, or for managing to turn up to work every day. But maybe if I manage to communicate these things to my friends they won’t give up on me after another skipped meet up, maybe my uni life would have been very different, maybe I’d have been able to forge the friendships I so wanted but couldn’t quite execute.

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One of the things I’m most bothered about with the dentist is that I only need the £2,000 treatment now because I didn’t have the money to pay for a cheaper, private treatment a few years ago. Because I didn’t have money then, I’m having to pay more, despite still not having the money now. What’s more, I was told that the NHS metal fillings I have are cracking and failing, and that I should really have the white private ones. Again, because I couldn’t afford the higher quality fillings in the first instance, I’m now going to have to pay even more money to get them fixed when they fail, because they will fail. How the fuck is this fair?

Twice now I’ve had dentists explain to me how sub-par NHS fillings, root canals and crowns are and that I ‘really should consider’ having the private treatments. I don’t think these people understand that the private ‘option’ isn’t an option at all. Do you not think I would definitely prefer to have nice, white, low key, higher quality fillings? Do you think I’m just choosing the lower quality, gross looking option for the fun of it? Yes I really do enjoy having a mouth full of metal at 24 years old, lay it on me!

So now, I’ve just spent the past hour looking at dental treatments in Budapest. Did you know that dentists in the UK charge more than anywhere else in Europe? I didn’t before now, but unbelievably I’ve learned today that it would actually be cheaper for me to fly to a different fucking country, have the treatment, stay overnight in accommodation and then fly back, than it would to nip five minutes down the road for the treatment I need. On what planet is that okay?

Fuck me I can’t imagine what it’s like to live in America, they don’t even have the NHS.

office attire on a budget

It’s surprising that I haven’t blogged about clothes yet, because I absolutely love them. Putting together an outfit that you can’t stop looking at in any and all reflective surfaces is always a great feeling.

Although I’m a fan of fashion I definitely don’t have the funds to wear any ‘labels’, but quite frankly you don’t need to be ‘wearing anyone’ in order to look good.

For example, in the below picture I’m wearing an outfit that made me feel fly all day for £35. That’s cheaper than a single pair of jeans in TopShop or River Island.

 

Dusty pink blazer
Size 8
£17

Black long sleeved shirt
Size 10
£9

Black high waisted skinny jeans
Size 10
£9

And believe it or not, I’m completely kitted out in Primark clothing. As long as you have a good eye you can get a good outfit from just about anywhere. You can be wearing Fat Face head to toe and still look terrible if you don’t know what you’re doing; however you can look amazing in clothes sourced solely from charity shops if you do.

I paired this with some black Dr Martens with a pink flowery print on and felt awesome all day. Another variation of this outfit keep the black shirt and jeans with a red blazer (also from Primark, bought in the sale for about £10) and some cherry red Dr. Martens.

A black base with pops of colour, coordinated with your shoes or accessories, is such an easy way to look well put together. And it absolutely does not have to break the bank. The most expensive part of any of my outfits is always my docs, however I usually buy them from eBay so haven’t paid anywhere near full price for them!

i absolutely love living alone

The first place that I moved into was a private hall in my first year of uni. The flat was shared between five of us, but we each had a bedroom with an en suite. That basically meant that I lived alone, only seeing the others if/when I was in the kitchen. Occasional kitchen wars aside, it was bliss.

From there I moved into a shared house in second year with six other housemates. That wasn’t bliss. Far from it. Seven people to one terraced house in Nottingham is, quite frankly, too many people. Coupled with the fact that we usually had friends over and quite a few of us were in relationships with other halves frequently around; shit got crowded real quick.

DSC_0251[1]Without even going into the unspeakable mess in every common area of the house, I knew that massive shared houses weren’t for me. Things were slightly better in third year when I moved into a shared house with only four of us, but I was still fantasising about the little room in my first year flat and oh so wishing that I could just have my own space again.

But, you guys, I’ve made it. A year after graduating I’m writing this from my tiny, gorgeous flat in an old textiles factory in city centre Nottingham. It’s the absolute perfect size for one person to live in and I can’t describe how much I appreciate having the place all to myself. Now this is bliss.

The only problem is that, after months of scouring hundreds and hundreds of listings, I found this flat and moved into it with my then-partner. I lasted eight months before I realised that I really, truly, need to live on my own. I had understood that living with a partner would be drastically different to living in a shared student house, so I thought that it would be something I was into.

However, I had to learn the hard way that this just isn’t the case for me. I value my own space and freedom far too much to be able DSC_0253[1]to comfortably share it with another person 24/7. It doesn’t help that this flat is positively shoebox sized. Although I think it’s just perfect to live in alone, it starts to grate on you when you literally cannot get away from your partner anywhere in the flat because you can still hear one another moving/chewing/breathing no matter where you go.

My advice is, if you realise you’re in a situation that just isn’t working for you, do something about it. Arguably I let this go on for too long, hoping it would get better if I did this or tried that, and it ended my relationship. But I can honestly say now that this was the right thing to do. It’s also a brilliant feeling to know that I’m completely self-sufficient.

I’m adulting harder than ever have before, and it’s not terrible!