Looking After Number One

Life can be hard.  The sun may be shining but that doesn’t mean we always follow suit. July has been a pretty slow month, not really much to write home about. Yet here I am.

I could just wipe this month and head straight into August forgetting about all my low points, but we all know that would be less than ideal. I want closure on a month in which I wasn’t entirely happy and not really feeling myself. Before I get into the nitty gritty I would like to reassure my family members reading this that I am perfectly fine, yes I’ve been in a grump for the last few weeks but everything really is A-OK, I promise. I could avoid talking about the matter all together but in the current climate of being open with mental health, I feel pretty good about putting it out there (but no I might not want to talk about it so much in person, please respect that).

One of the things I’ve learnt this month is to listen to my own advice. Isn’t it funny? How we can be that shoulder to cry on for so many in our life, yet when it comes to looking after number one, that shoulder seems to slump out of existence, even though it is quite literally under our nose at all times.

When I’m feeling low I lose all insight and just shut down. I let that black cloud engulf me, allowing it grow bigger, quite often without realising. It is certainly something that fills the room. Whether I’m at home, out or at work, if I’m in a mood you will definitely know. I get agitated, irritable and super short with people. It is a sort of temper that has grown over the years. I was once told that if I was any more laidback I’d be horizontal. Right now I feel bloomin’ vertical. I would like to go back to being that chilled out Sam who just went with the flow. She was young though, she’s been through a lot since then, so I’m not expecting a complete reversal, but some degree of change would certainly be nice.

In the interest of change, I am making steps to improve my mind. First of all I quit the gym in favour of some self led yoga at home. Now, yoga is something I have tried time and time again and just not enjoyed. This time however something stuck. I found Yoga With Adriene and so far, I am absolutely loving it. Adriene has the perfect charm to get you into yoga with absolutely no pressure. I have to admit that I am reaching a point of frustration with it as I get to more extensive exercises, but it is nothing that a little reminder to love myself and to take it easy won’t fix. People quite often ask if I would be interested in going to classes, and maybe someday I will, but right now this is all about my relationship with mind and body. Focussing energy into something physical that I can do in the space of my own home (behave), knowing that it will benefit my health all round.

I am also trying to reclaim my shoulder to cry on. Listening to myself and finding solutions. I rely A LOT, on my relationships with other people to make me feel good about myself, without really checking in on my ability to live independently and serve myself. I get really anxious about changes in relationships with others. All I want is consistency, or at least an understanding of change. I blame myself a lot and beat myself up about things, dwelling rather than moving forward. I’m working on it though, like I said, laidback Sam definitely needs a comeback in this area of my brain.

Something that gets to me every now and then is the notion of the ‘best friend’. I know lots of people. I do have close friends. Yet I feel like a little fish lost in a sea full of tight knit friendships and deeply connected people. I do a lot of things on my own. Sometimes that’s okay, but sometimes you’re alone at a gig for the 100th time surrounded by groups of friends and lovers galore. Owning your independence is one thing, but sometimes I’m just a victim of myself never reaching out. I’m just so unsure about whether people want to spend time with me.

I’m just a pain or a nuisance, they’ll be bored of me by now.

STOP THAT.

I am slowly working towards a balance of seeking out my friends for activities, but also giving just as much time as they give me. The thing is you have to give a little to get a little, but if you’re never on the receiving end it is time to re-evaluate.

This post is a little all over the place but then that is kind of how my brain has been all month. I’m feeling positive however that I can turn it all around in August. I have a couple of weeks back in Kent to chill the hell out, to hang out with old friends and family. July hasn’t been all bad though, here are some honourable mentions:

Shangela performing in Southampton

Haleloo! More and more queens from far afield are making a trip down South and I’m soooo here for it. Shangela was an absolute delight, I just wish it had been a longer show!

BBQ at Kara’s

I had the absolute pleasure of visiting some old school friends at Kara’s LOVELY new house near Reading. I was only able to make a quick trip but it definitely made me want to connect with them more. Hopefully more visits are to come.

Let’s Eat Grandma – I’m All Ears

Okay, so this album came out at the end of June but most of my July has been spent listening to this duo’s grand debut. I absolutely adore them since seeing them at By The Sea a couple of years ago and I’m All Ears is a brilliant piece of work. An album that courses through all emotions with love, anger and empowerment.

Cocktails at Heartbreakers with Lucy and Christine

I love the ever changing cocktails menu at Southampton’s Heartbreakers bar, and their summer one has certainly not disappointed. That being said there are still a few more to try before their Autumn one comes out in a few weeks. Perhaps I’ll reach out for another night out there soon.

That’s me done for July, next month I’m back to Kent for my summer holidays and little brother’s 15th! You can keep up to date via my Instagram and probably on Twitter too.

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