Laundrette Girl

She came in every Saturday morning. Looking remarkable each time, without fail. Her blonde, wavy hair gently fell just below her shoulders, so perfect. I could never take my eyes off her. The ringlets in her hair were incredible, the only time I had seen hair like that were on the women in 70’s Hollywood movies. Her eyes stood out for miles. A deep, blue colour, similar to the shade of the ocean and the sky, blended together. I had never been lucky enough to get lost in them but I longed to because every single time she walked into the laundrette, everything else in the room went out of focus and all I could think about was her. She always looked so defined, as if she made the effort to look remarkable all the time, she fascinated me, in so many ways. Her lips, always such a rosy red, plump and soft. I paid attention to the tiniest of details, I just didn’t know her name yet. I worked in the launderette every weekend and she would come in every Saturday and she was the only thing that kept me sane for the whole day. I would hear the little bell ring each week at 10:30am as she strutted through the glass door in her kitten heels and tiny floral dress, fitting her petite figure perfectly. I would rush to hold the door open for her every time so she didn’t have to struggle with her basket through the door and as embarrassing as it is to admit this, I wanted her to think I was a gentleman. She seemed so classy, too classy for me that’s for sure. After all, I was only a boy from London working in a launderette for a living. I doubt she had ever even looked at me twice but I really wish that she would.

It was a sunny afternoon with a slight breeze and I was sat at the desk finishing my breakfast, watching the time and preparing myself to hold the door open for her. It was 10:28am so I headed over to the door and stood by it, glancing out of the glass door, I spotted her come around the corner of the street. That beautiful hair glistening in the sunlight and those icy blue eyes looking straight towards where I was currently standing. I suddenly felt a flutter of a thousand butterflies swarm around my stomach. It was a pleasant feeling but still made me feel nervous at the least. She was like my drug each week. I waited and waited until I saw her, getting more and more worked up each second of the day but as soon as she was next to me, everything suddenly changed and it felt like we were the only two people in the universe let alone in the city. She was approaching the door fairly quickly now and I could feel a big smile begin to form on my face. She winked at me as she stepped through the door. I’m glad the sound of the bell ringing covered up the sound of my heart beating. I pretended like that wink meant nothing however, it was as if the thoughts in my mind were jumping up and down on a trampoline and all crashing into each other. It was just a wink for Gods sake, I had a tendency to over think and over analyse absolutely everything and it needed to stop. I slapped my wrist. She turned around. I panicked. What if she thought I was a psycho?
“Is this washing machine out of order?” She asked. I stuttered, a lot. But eventually the words crawled out of my mouth one by one…
“Yes, sorry about that, I’ll help you get your garments into the next machine.”  I sighed with relief inside and tried not to show this on the outside to prevent myself from getting embarrassed. She smiled beautifully and thanked me. Her teeth were so straight and so white, she had a perfect smile and that made her even more angelic. I began to help her with her basket of clothes and she thanked me again, she was so polite.

I decided that if I was ever going to talk to her, now would be the best time. I took a seat on the bench next to her, not even taking it into account that she may have found it slightly strange but I couldn’t help it. In the heat of the moment, I felt it was the right thing to do, taking an opportunity you felt was necessary. And it was necessary; the outcome of me finding the confidence to go and sit by this woman was overwhelming for me. I had lost control and found myself staring right at her, she looked to her side and I just managed disguise the fact that seconds ago, I was admiring her. To my surprise, she struck up a conversation, it was blatant small talk for a good 10 minutes but it was better than nothing. Usually when she was waiting for her laundry, she would make her way over to a small vintage tearoom a couple of blocks down, I knew this because she always left the paper coffee cup with their logo on in the launderettes bin. However, today she sat down beside me on the bench and we talked for hours on end about every little thing. She was a beautiful woman with a beautiful outlook on life and I could already feel myself getting attached to her. She had so much to say, I was almost speechless. Throughout our conversation I heard the washing machine beep a number of times but this didn’t stop her from talking to me. She continued and I certainly wasn’t complaining. Hours passed and the sky was getting darker.
“I better get going” she giggled. I told her it was lovely talking to her.
“You too sweetie” she said as she smiled that beautiful smile of hers. I went to hold the door open and all of a sudden, she kissed me on the lips, so gently but I was lost for words, I couldn’t explain my feelings. I honestly thought my heart was about to make its way out of my mouth.
“I’ll see you soon” she whispered, followed by her signature wink.

All I could do at this moment in time was nod and smile, I felt so shy and I could feel my cheeks gradually turning bright pink. I thought I was dreaming. Since that moment, I haven’t been able to function or concentrate on anything, I couldn’t comprehend what had happened, it was completely out of the blue and I was asking myself so many questions; did she like me? Would I see her again? Should I ask her out? It was driving me crazy! But I knew patience was what I needed most in this situation. I was looking forward to seeing her again, wondering if I should ask her to dinner, I was nervous, I looked at my watch, it was 10:27am, 3 minutes to go until she walks through this door, I checked my watch again, 10:28am. How can only a minute have passed since I last checked? Time was going so slowly as I waited for her by the door. A whole hour had passed now and this was unusual for her. I sighed, giving up and went to sit down. The weather outside was sunny but this definitely didn’t anticipate my mood, I felt glum. And this made everything else seem glum too. Maybe she’s hanging her clothes out on the line, I thought. I didn’t even know why I felt so down, I just really wanted to see her.

The next morning on my way to the launderette  I slowed down as I approached the little vintage tearoom in the hope that she would be sat inside. And there she was. But she wasn’t alone. I watched her as she leaned in to a handsome looking man and kissed him gently on the lips, just as she had done with me only a week ago. I realised she had given me false hope and I swear in that moment, my heart shattered into millions of tiny pieces.

And I still didn’t know her name.

 

Self Harm

It is said that 1 in 12 teenagers self harm however the majority are girls…

10% of girls have admitted to ever self harming 6% of boys have admitted to ever self harming

The study that was taken out was on 1,802 people and the results show that the average age of people who self harm is 15. Saying cutting and burning were the most common self injury methods. And the most common objects used are razor blades, knives and scissors.

Teenagers and even adults self harm to get things out of their system which may have caused them emotional pain. Because a lot of what people do to hurt themselves are short, shocking pains for example burning, pinching, cutting and scratching it provides temporary relief however afterwards, it comes to their realisation that the deeper pain they are suffering is not going to be solved by doing this therefore it makes them feel like if they keep doing these short pains, enough of them will get rid of the deep sadness they are suffering.

Anxiety disorders and depression are a big cause of self harm. The main place people choose to cut themselves are on the wrists and thighs because these are the places which are not so hard to hide. People tend to avoid places like the face and hands which are on show most of the time.

I know for a fact that many people see self harm as attention seeking but it isn’t at all, it’s completely psychological and more than often comes down to mental illness or sexual abuse as a child. In a lot of cases it is things from the past coming back to haunt them as a teenager or young adult but in other cases it could be something as small as an argument with someone or if you’re feeling insecure, some people are weaker than others and find it difficult to handle certain situations so they result in self harm because they feel as though they deserve the pain they think they have caused.

You can’t judge people for self harming if you genuinely know nothing about them. It is the same as my previous post about eating disorders, a lot of the time self harm is to do with your emotions and it is a way of letting things out. Just think before you call someone an attention seeker for doing it because facts show that the majority of teenagers who self harm have had to deal with something traumatic earlier in their life.

There are so many ways that you can recover from self harm. If you are a school or college student I suggest going to speak to the pastoral carer before any of your friends because they are experienced and have dealt with situations like it before whereas your friends may not understand and you may not be ready to talk in detail about it, your pastoral carer should give you advice and will try and edge you into talking to your parents/guardians or friends about it, which is the next step and which will help. The more support you have the better and if you have your friends, they will help you take your mind of everything which makes you feel upset in your life! That’s what friends are for.

Again, send me asks/tweet or facebook me if you want to talk, I dont care if you dont know me. I just want to help. Smile:) Create, don’t cut ❤

Anorexia

I want to talk about this topic because it is quite close to my heart and I’ve known a few people who have been close to dying from this illness.

Anorexia is a serious eating disorder, it usually happens when a girl/boy or even woman/man are not happy with their body image and wish to change themselves. When someone begins to constantly think about becoming skinny and how much better they would feel about themselves it puts them off eating a lot of food because the brain focuses on becoming slim. Anorexia damages your health and in some more serious cases, can cause death however there is so many people who can help you stop feeling this way.

Anorexia Nervosa– this illness features an intense fear of gaining weight, a distorted body image and refusal to keep a healthy body weight. When a person dreads the thought of becoming even slightly overweight this can drive them to cut down on what they eat and that just isn’t healthy, being healthy would mean eating a balanced diet and cutting down on foods full of sugar and fat. However, if you’re anorexic, you are likely to believe that all foods contain fat therefore if you just don’t eat, you won’t get fat. And it is thoughts like this which trigger off someone to become anorexic. It will be as if losing weight is all that is on your mind, like an obsessive thought and worry of gaining weight.    You may become distant from friends and family because your day will consist of ongoing thoughts about food, dieting and calorie counting.. it will become obvious to the people close to you that something is the matter and they will definitely be able to tell if you begin to lose weight you don’t really need to lose. Even if you lose weight and people find it attractive, you will feel as though it’s not good enough and will drive you to eat even less, this is what makes this eating disorder worse. It makes you keep going and going and you become obsessed. Anorexia is an extremely serious eating disorder and when you’re suffering from it you don’t realise how bad it is until people start noticing, and a symptom of anorexia is denying losing weight even when you know you have. It is possible to recover from anorexia but not in all cases. It depends how badly you are suffering from it. But there is many different types of treatment and support you can be given to recover but to go through all that just to feel better about yourself? Is it really worth it? Is it worth the risk of death?

There are different types of anorexia, some people suffer by going on extreme diets and sometimes by just cutting food out completely, this is called restricting anorexia whilst others suffer by making themselves vomit or taking laxatives to get rid of any food they’ve eaten quickly and this is known as purging.

A lot of people have no clue about anorexia whatsoever and think it’s completely ok to make up assumptions about it. No, it is just offensive.. Anorexia and other eating disorders aren’t even to do with weight or food really. When most people are suffering from them there is normally a deeper cause to it. Perhaps they feel like they need to impress someone, they are depressed, they can be lonely, insecure and find the best way to cope is to starve themselves. If people don’t understand anorexia they have no right to judge when they have no idea what could be going on in the persons life.

When suffering from anorexia a typical excuse is ‘I’m on a diet’ but there are so many differences between a diet and anorexia. Dieting is healthy, you have control of losing weight, it’s more than just losing weight it can mean you want better skin,  or you could just want to be more healthy and balanced with what you eat and the  initial goal is to lose weight in a healthy way. Whereas with anorexia, you are not comfortable with yourself, it’s like an escape route for you, you’re feelings are purely based on weight loss and you’re invaded by thoughts of becoming thin.

I will now list a variety of symptoms associating with food behaviour and changes in appearance.

  • wanting to diet even though you know you are slim
  • constantly feeling fat when it’s been proved to you that you’re underweight
  • obsessed with weight
  • always checking for flaws when looking in the mirror
  • denial of being thin
  • dramatic weight loss
  • counting calories on everything you eat
  • telling close friends/family you’ve eaten when you haven’t
  • constant thoughts of food
  • hiding food or chewing slowly to become full quicker

Anorexia can happen without you realising, say if you’re under pressure with family problems, arguments with boyfriends/girlfriends, exams, school work.. if you’re under a lot of stress it can make you focus on that rather than what you need to have to eat. Research suggests that it can also happen if it runs in the family.

This eating disorder does not only affect your body image but it can affect you psychologically for example, you could suffer from random mood swings, lack of energy, gum damage, dizziness, fainting, headaches, poor memory and depression.

Recovering from anorexia can be a long and difficult journey, mainly because the first step of recovery is admitting you have a problem and as you have read in this post, anorexics are in denial most of the time. You then have to speak to someone about this once you have admitted it to yourself. Keep yourself clear of things which remind you of losing weight and becoming thin and finally seek professional help, take someone you care about with you, they will help you through everything until you’re finally yourself again.

The following number is the national eating disorders line, if anyone reading this believes they could be suffering from anorexia/bulimia or any other disorder or perhaps you are worried about someone. Call this number for help.

Also, if you want advice, please leave me asks or message me on my facebook or tweet me. I’ve been in a close situation where I lost too much weight too fast, and I’ve had friends who have suffered, I just want to help. I will leave the link for my twitter and facebook below. Stay beautiful and keep smiling.

“Facebook Famous”

As a teenager who uses social networking sites quite regularly, this includes Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, it has been brought to my attention that recently many young people strive for the attention of many users on these websites. Facebook have recently added a feature where you can “subscribe” to a user to see all of their profile without actually having them as a friend and it appears that many teenagers have been using this to gain “likes and shares” on their page. Why they obsess over likes and attention so much is a question most of the people on the internet ask themselves but it doesn’t stop them constantly posting generic photos, videos and quotes onto their profile for everyone to see. Due to the fact that a lot of people don’t understand what they think they are gaining from being “Facebook famous” they tend to receive a lot of hateful comments and reactions to the kind of things they post. For example a lot of people who become well known on Facebook have had nude photos of them sent around the World Wide Web and they decide to update statuses trying to defend themselves when really, it makes them look like they just want attention. This is a very opinion based piece of writing because some of you reading this may aspire to be one of these people, some of you may be one of these people however, some of you may be people like me who just don’t understand what their aim is. In the past, I have witnessed teenagers with thousands of subscribers post statuses about serious things for example ‘like this if you hate cancer’ cancer, a heart-breaking illness which people suffer from every single day, of course everyone hates this. But by putting a status telling people to like it is simply asking for likes, what are you gaining from that? If you want to know how many people hate cancer, do something productive and read an article about it, why waste your time posting a horrible status like that basically asking for likes? If you want to find a cure, go out and donate money to the charity. Writing a status like that is gaining nothing but people’s attention. Another thing is, they believe they are individual and unique when technically, they are all the same. They may be different people with different personalities and opinions however when it comes down to appearance, they all dress the same and they all have the same hair and post the same things. They try so hard to stand out and get noticed and I just don’t believe this is a positive thing. If they want to voice their opinions over social networking sites I suppose they have every right to do so, I just think they try too hard to look original which makes them all look the same. I find it shocking how Facebook pages of some bands and even charities don’t have as many “fans” if you call them than these “Facebook famous” teenagers who simply post all of the same popular quotes and funny videos purely because they get a buzz when people click like on what they’re posting. In my opinion, I find it extremely pathetic and believe that if people want attention they should at least do something to deserve it rather than be a beggar. 

Snow

I stared out my window,
As the snow fell,
I used to smile as I watched it,
I remember  so well,

“Mum, wake up! It’s snowing!” I said,
She turned on her side. “Go back to bed!”
“Dad, look outside! The ground is all white!”
“I heard you the first time, I’ll look when it’s light”

Years go by, the joy goes away,
Sitting by the radio,
Hearing ‘NO SCHOOL TODAY’
I jumped back in bed with a grin,

A few years down the track,
You think you won’t give a damn,
But the excitement comes back,
And you’re out on the sledge,

When the snow isn’t falling,
And you’re sat in class,
There’s always that moron,
That shouts ‘ Hey it’s snowing!’

But at the age I am now,
I moan and I groan,
My Dad raises a brow,
But I don’t care,

Snow is fascinating,
When you’re 5 years old,
But once you’re my age,
It just makes you feel cold.

 

Image

Life of Pi film review

An inspiring, beautiful film about a brave Indian boy recounting his impressive story to an author suffering from writer’s block who is interested in making it into a novel. Based on Yann Martel’s winning bestseller from 2001. Pi Patel, played magnificently by Suraj Sharma who is a teenager living in India with his parents and older brother. Named after the Spanish word for ‘swimming pool’ –Piscine. The family invest in a zoo and Pi attempts to create a bond with the tiger early on in the film before being punished by his father. Pi as an adult is played by Irrfan Khan who is recounting his story to an author played by Rafe Spall . Pi tells him his story in hope to enable him to believe in God. The father of Pi decides he wishes to re-locate to Canada in aim to restart his zookeeping business. They travel across India to Canada on a Japanese cargo ship, taking the animals with them. A shocking storm wrecks the whole ship but Pi had gone onto the deck to admire the storm and managed to survive on a little lifeboat, along with a zebra, a hyena, a chimp and an exquisite Bengal tiger. Throughout the film, with wonderful special effects, we join Pi and Richard Parker the tiger on their battle to survive. It’s difficult for me to describe how incredible the digitally created tiger is. The only thing I could possibly criticise about this film is the slow start, it took me about half an hour to get into it but after that, I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. The animal to human bond is heart-warming and I felt myself tearing up at a couple of moments throughout the film. A terrific film with a happy ending allowing me to leave the cinema with a smile on my face.

Bipolar

Bipolar, also known as manic depression is an illness which causes severe mood swings which can range from extreme highs, described as mania to extreme lows- depression. Episodes of these swings usually last between several weeks or months. These moods can involve low moods, intense depression and despair. The high points of this illness usually include high or manic feelings of joy, over-activity and loss inhibitions. The negative side of this illness will put you in a mixed state, causing you to feel depressed with restlessness and over-activity of a manic episode. According to BBC Health the exact causes of bipolar are not actually known by anybody but it is thought that the following aspects play an important part in the condition

· Genes. It is said that if you have a relative suffering from bipolar disorder, you have a higher chance of developing the illness in the future.
· Physical problem with your brain systems which control your mood therefore, bipolar disorder can usually be controlled with medication.
· Stress is known to trigger mood swings

Bipolar often leads on from Depression and symptoms of depression include:

· Sadness and feeling hopeless
· Lack of energy
· Difficulty concentrating and remembering things
· Loss of interest in everyday activities
· Feelings of emptiness or worthlessness
· Feelings of guilt and despair
· Feeling pessimistic about everything
· Doubting yourself
· Being delusional, having hallucinations and disturbed/illogical thinking
· Lack of appetite
· Difficulty sleeping
· Waking up early
· Suicidal thoughts

There are various types of bipolar.

Bipolar I- This usually involves one high/manic episode, lasting longer than a week. Sometimes it can mean you only have manic episodes although most people suffering this will also go through periods of depression

Bipolar II- This is where you have more than one episode of severe depression but only mild manic episodes. It is known as ‘hypomania’

Rapid cycling- You have more than four mood swings which happen over a year. This affects around one in 10 people suffering from the condition.

Cyclothymia- The mood swings are not as bad but happen often and last longer

If a mood swing becomes very severe, it is possible you may be suffering with ‘psychotic’ symptoms which generally include you feeling guilty, worse than anybody else and even non-existent to people. When feeling manic, you may feel like you have to complete an important mission or that you have super powers and abilities which you don’t in fact have. You may also experience hallucinations, thinking you can hear, smell or feel something which isn’t actually there.

There are three groups of mood stabilisers which can treat the condition which take several months to actually work properly. These include:

· Lithium- treats manic and depressive episodes, can be harmful if the dose is too high, regular blood tests are needed, side effects include feeling thirsty, passing lots of urine and weight gain.
· Anticonvulsants- used by people suffering from epilepsy
· ‘Atypical’ antipsychotics- used to treat people suffering from schizophrenia

You can also help yourself in various ways to help with episodes of bipolar by recognising the signs that your mood is swinging out of control therefore you can get help early on. It is helpful to find out as much as you can about the condition. Try hard to avoid stressful situations. Have one person you can fully rely on and confide in and when you’re well, make sure they understand about bipolar disorder. Balance your life, work, leisure-time and relationships, exercising for 20 minutes or so three times a week can have a big influence on your mood and should help you feel better about yourself. And finally, simply do things you enjoy.

It is also just as hard for people living with someone suffering with the condition than it is for the person who is ill. It is difficult to know what to say and may begin to see everything in a negative light and feel afraid of saying what they want the person suffering to do. It is helpful if you listen, be patient and understanding. During the mania stage of bipolar, the person will appear happy, energetic or outgoing however, the excicetmet of social situations can put their mood even higher. It is advised you steer them away from parties/heated discussions and persuade them to seek help instead. Also, in between mood episodes, find as much out as you can about bipolar disorder. If it helps you, attend appointments with them if they are comfortable with you doing so. Be sure to give yourself time and space to relax and recharge your batteries.

Bipolar disorder is something that is spoken about in the media a lot as many well-known celebrities suffer from it. For example, Jim Carey, a successful actor. He suffered from depression at the peak of success and he publicly acknowledged this and and asked for help. He admitted to a newspaper that depression was the motivation behind the comedies he produced. A lot of people attributed his condition to bipolar disorder and he was put on the anti-depressant drug called Prozac. Another surprising celebrity who suffered bipolar is Ben Stiller, his parents believe his bipolar is generic as his mother’s mother committed suicide when his mother was 11 years old. And a more recent story, Kerry Katona has admitted she’s being treated for the illness and admits that doctors have said she may suffer from it for the rest of her life.