Heroine Mary.

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I’ve been obsessed with the local band Lark for a very long time. Today’s doodle is from their song Heroine Mary.

Cheer up.

instant happiness

I’ve found that dwelling in a bad mood can be dangerous, and even worse, habit forming. I’ve drawn up a list of silly little things that make me smile no matter what foul mood I’m in.

Things like; feeding the birds, or taking a bubble bath, are caring actions. And the world always needs more kindness. Eating bananas are scientifically proven to benefit sufferers of depression. And they’re just kinda silly, aren’t they? Doing little things that give you a sense of accomplishment is an easy way to feel better about yourself. Rearranging the furniture, or hanging a few new pictures are really simple ways of feeling more in control of your environment and your ability to make positive changes in your life. Journaling is very important to me, having a private outlet where you can be truly honest keeps your heart light. Introspection is difficult and keeping a journal is a great tool to facilitate growth. It also enables you to look back and realise how far you’ve come! Sending a postcard to a friend, near or far, is a cheap, future affirming action that should give you something to look forward to. Don’t set your hopes on a written response though, it’s a lot of effort for the average Joe. Rather focus on what their response will be when they receive it. You only get sent bills these days, everyone loves getting a letter. You can even send something anonymously if you really want to stir things up. If you’re having a bad day try one or all of the above. Personally, my favourite distraction is cuddling up with a good animation. Specifically, Wall-E, cheers me up every time.

Said George Bernard Shaw.

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“Liquor is the chloroform which enables the poor man to endure the painful operation of living.”

– George Bernard Shaw

The hedgehog dilemma.

hedgehog_smlThe Hedgehog Dilemma is an analogy by Arthur Schopenhauer (later also used by Freud) that attempts to describe the difficulties of human intimacy:

“A number of porcupines huddled together for warmth on a cold day in winter; but, as they began to prick one another with their quills, they were obliged to disperse. However the cold drove them together again, when just the same thing happened. At last, after many turns of huddling and dispersing, they discovered that they would be best off by remaining at a little distance from one another. In the same way the need of society drives the human porcupines together, only to be mutually repelled by the many prickly and disagreeable qualities of their nature. The moderate distance which they at last discover to be the only tolerable condition of intercourse, is the code of politeness and fine manners; and those who transgress it are roughly told—in the English phrase—to keep their distance. By this arrangement the mutual need of warmth is only very moderately satisfied; but then people do not get pricked. A man who has some heat in himself prefers to remain outside, where he will neither prick other people nor get pricked himself.” 

But then again Schopenhauer was known to be a miserable and sour bastard. The philosopher Russell later said about him: “It is hard to find in his life evidences of any virtue except kindness to animals…”. Which is a pretty cool virtue in my mind, but anyway… I believe great minds are often miserable, and in great part due to this exact dilemma. My solution for a thinker who finds himself affected by said dilemma is to preserve and fuel the “heat in himself” and I suspect the distance won’t feel as harsh.

It’s okay.

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It’s no secret that I’ve had a pretty rough time lately, and that I haven’t always handled it with poise and grace. But through it all I’ve figured out that pain demands to be felt, and you have to prepare for that. People who suffer from depression often feel guilty for feeling the way they do, which is a seriously destructive vicious circle. Friends and loved ones don’t always understand, and sometimes you trust the wrong people, which could leave you feeling devastated and very lonely. So here’s a bunch of stuff you don’t have to feel guilty about. If you haven’t gotten out of bed in a day, think of me in the ladies’ room stuffing my face with chocolates from my handbag, and know that you’re not alone. If you ease up on yourself, I promise you, you’ll be up and in your underwear in no time! And one day I might even be able to leave the house without a pedophile’s supply of candy… Definitely not today! But maybe tomorrow.

James Arthur’s single, Recovery, has become a source of strength for me and I would like to share it in the hope that if you’re feeling like shit as well, it will empower you as it has me. Just remember, someone somewhere is crying with you… And it’s probably me! 😉

 

 

Truly insane.

trulyinsane

Stewie Griffin is to blame for today’s doodle. The quote is from The Simpsons – Family Guy mash up episode, which I really enjoyed. I relate a lot to Stewie in this episode; people are often freaked out by the ways I show love. But don’t worry Stewie, someone will recognize and appreciate the crazy cool that is you. Fuck Bart.

Sharing.

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No one hides their insecurities as well as they think they do. And normally people see right through the strange and crazy things people do to “seem normal”. But the truth is everyone feels what they’re feeling differently. Schopenhauer said: “…the difference in individualities is incalculably great.” Even if you can see right through someone’s act, no one knows what trauma caused that person to wear leopard print leggings, or why she cries in cat food ads. Kindness (or mercy!) is severely under valued in our society. With the rise of trolls, critics, blogs, discussion forums, and memes, we all think we have the right to judge what someone else has put out there. To ridicule or scoff at another user’s honesty is a trendy past time. But just because we don’t get it, doesn’t make it less meaningful to who ever’s experiencing it.

There is a kind side to social media. I have been berated for wearing my heart on my sleeve online many times. But to be honest, I’ve received sincere feedback when I’ve felt really alone, and a tweet was more like a desperate plea sent out in to the universe. Stephen Fry thanked his Twitter followers for their support after his suicide attempt in 2012 and on Facebook a friend saved the life of a suicidal teenager from the other side of the Atlantic! Status updates are supposed to be personal, Facebook itself asks me how I’m feeling?! It doesn’t ask: “What competition are you entering today?” Why aren’t we allowed to say I feel like shit? My advice is to keep your FRIENDS on Facebook, the people who really care. The rest just find your ups and downs amusing.

You can not possibly know what battle is raging on their side of the screen. Why not reach out instead? I have experienced the healing power of a few kind words first hand and it’s a bit like magic for a sad soul. Post pictures of your kid eating peas, lament over the asshole that broke your heart, TYPE IN ALL CAPS, or connect with other people who cry when The Cure plays. Isn’t connecting what social media is all about? How can you connect if you’re not “sharing”?

Mourning.

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Today’s doodle is by Shané Mc Mahon, an awesome friend and super talented artist/photographer, who took it upon herself to draw these beautiful works of me and my baby. You can check her other work at www.killerlambkreations.co.za or follow her on Twitter, @KILLER_LAMB, or Instagram,  @killer_lamb. Thank you for making something so beautiful from the pieces of my broken heart, I cannot express how much it means to me, love you lady!

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything. My life was interrupted by the loss of my most loyal friend, my beautiful black cat, Sabbath. I would like to dedicate this post to her, and to all the kind souls who reached out to help me when I was too devastated to function.

I had rescued Sabbath from a home were she had been badly neglected about 7 years ago. She was underfed, full of sores and scared shitless. And so was I… I had loved the idea of having a cat, but suddenly this little thing that really needed me was looking up at my irresponsible face. I was all she had to depend on… and I kept thinking: “That’s not enough?!”

SABBATH

But as it is with love, she turned out to be the hero. She enriched my life in ways I never expected and could never hope to replace. She was a tiny, loud, opinionated little bad ass, that never left my side. So when she didn’t come home that Sunday night I knew something was very wrong. The big search began on Monday. My roommate is an amazing woman, who put her own life on hold to help me. She ran out barefoot and braved gangsters in the search for Sabbath! Thanks Louise, I wouldn’t have been able to get off the kitchen floor without you. By Tuesday I was a wreck, and I started reaching out on social media. I posted her photo EVERYWHERE with the hash-tag #searchingforSabbath and the response blew me away.

Thanks to: @Donnidarko21@SPCACharityShop, @gevaaalikdotcom, @VHaasbroek, @SnorCoty (you guys rock!), @RobForbesDJ, @TiffysPage, @PetBizUK, @friendz_feline, @WetnoseAnimal, @Volsdude77Renee, @Kikmi, @_horny_manatee@SusanEacock, @EnigmaOffline, @Ch4llen, @AvddRenegade, @Hiro_ZA, @johnnyf1, @RuanHaHa, @b_dizzy and all the others!

There are too many Twitter users who responded/retweeted to mention, and if I’ve left you out, I am truly sorry. Every effort touched my heart, restored my faith in humanity and gave me the hope I so desperately needed. This experience has taught me that social media really can make a difference in one very small life.

On Facebook I found these pages & groups to be very helpful if, God forbid, you should ever lose your pet:

Lost and found CATS South Africa

Wetnose Animal Rescue Centre

SPCA Centurion

Missing Pets SA

Pretoria North Lost, found and rescued animals

Despite everyone’s valiant efforts I was told on Tuesday night that she had been killed by my neighbour’s dog the Sunday she went missing. I fell apart. I had lost my best friend. I couldn’t go home. I couldn’t sleep. I had to stack books on the foot of the bed to simulate her presence at night.  I was too sad to think. Too sad to even want to! But luckily I had someone to look after me, I squatted at Donovan’s house for weeks, too afraid to go home to an empty room. He kept me clean and fed until I was able to start mending. I struggle with depression, and losing Sabbath was a hurt I didn’t think I could survive, but with the right support, loads of love, and a lot of patience I was pulled back to life. I still cry at least once a day. But pain is unavoidable. The internet is full of cats, and I can’t hide from them, believe me, I tried.

Thanks for changing my life Sabbath, I love you very much.

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