How Depression Crept Up on Me and Advice

This time two years ago I posted the photo below to Instagram and said I was having a girly-night to myself and made it sound so positive.

What I didn’t say was that I’d had to go on Just Eat to find somewhere local which sold food and beer/wine because it felt like an overwhelming physical AND mental impossibility to go to the local shops. I was so hungry and really needed something to cheer myself up too.

I’d gotten into the habit of not getting (dragging myself) out of bed until 4.00pm (sadly after it had gone dark) so I hadn’t seen daylight for five days. I’d stopped being bothered to get dressed or comb my wildly frizzy hair or to tidy up.

The bloke had to be elsewhere and he was so stressed and busy he really needed to get on with it and I was trying to be as supportive as poss. But I was on my own all week, until weekend and felt really lonely. But I also felt guilty and silly bothering him.

I realise looking back that the Depression had crept back but at the time I was kidding myself that I was having fun enjoying not having any responsibilities or structure.

Ironically that is exactly what helps me, as it stops the endless days and nights all blending together. Plus someone to bounce my thoughts off so they aren’t swimming around in my head and growing more negative and repetitive is vital for me.

I wish I’d put an honest caption on Insta about how I was feeling at the time or told my Dad or my bloke how I felt. BUT I’d been fighting for decades to have my disabilities and chronic illness recognised and to get on ESA benefit so I could rest at home all day. I felt guilty that I wasn’t now happy and thought I must be being ungrateful or overly-dramatic. But actually, when you can’t or aren’t doing much, whole days and nights alone can seem like an eternity.

After doing this on repeat for about a month (literally just living for the weekend when my bloke would be able to come back basically) I phoned him in floods of tears.

We talked for an hour and worked out a better way of doing things and it made a vast amount of difference to my mental health.

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There isn’t always a reason though. Sometimes clinical depression can hit you for no reason at all and that’s perfectly normal, not your fault and just as valid.

If you are feeling crappy or apathetic to stuff you normally love doing or are struggling to keep your head above water, please don’t fool yourself you are ‘fine’. Admit to yourself that you aren’t feeling okay and then tell someone else, even if it’s just one other person (i.e. a considerate family member, a friend, an empathetic friend of a friend or your GP for instance) IRL or online.

You don’t have to be fine all of the time and forcing yourself to try can do more damage than good. Being open and honest about your feelings can lift a huge weight.

It’s ok not to be ok 🙃

✨✨🖤Chrissie🖤✨✨

The Hip Hop Chip Shop at The Carlton Club, Manchester

The Hip-Hop Chip Shop has gone mobile! They are parked throughout February at The Carlton Club in Whalley Range, Manchester.

We decided to book on their pop-up website (which I now think is mostly booked up) to make it easier ordering food from their pop-up van. You can visit the van but you might have a bit of wait so (as they advise) wrap up warm!

This is the Vegangstarr Sausage Meal

Skin-on chips; Mushy Peas; Battered Sausage and Tartare Sauce; with a side of Battered pickled gherkins and a Chocolate Brownie by Lush Brownies (Chortlon) for desert.

They also have a battered halloumi meal if that’s more your deal.

The fact that people peel potatoes when making chips now amazes me. Battered gherkins have some real bite to them in texture and flavour. The inside of the sausage has a soft consistency like sweet potato pakora but it tastes exactly like a chippy sausage – whaat?! The choccy brownie is perfection.

FYI This is enough food to last me for my tea tonight and breakfast and dinner tomorrow.

✨✨🖤Chrissie🖤✨✨

Really Easy Way to Make: Dairy-free, Gluten-free Mac n’ Cheese

Hi lovely people!

I was having a very Dyspraxic day (knocking everything over/dropping everything/getting stuff tangled up/bumping into stuff/tripping up/behaving more drunk than when I’m actually drunk!) so upon arrival to his flat, my Bloke surprised me with (gluten free, dairy free) Mac n’ Cheese to cheer me up.

Ingredients:

Any own brand Free-From (gf) Pasta

@freeandeasyfoods (df) Cheese Flavour Sauce

Rice or Oat Milk

1 heaped tbl spn Nutritional Yeast

A pinch of Garlic salt and Pepper

Nommm 😋

✨✨🖤Chrissie🖤✨✨

The Best of Vamp It Up 2020 – Style, Plant-based Food and Lockdown Lifestyle

Even though this has been one of the weirdest years I’ve had, being in ‘lockdown’ isn’t that different from having chronic fatigue anyway really. Lots of telly watching, reading, putting outfits together for no particular reason, eating copious amounts of takeaway and going out to have a quick drink, when I’m able.

Leave your questions or comments below and I will consult my foggy (but sometimes, strangely encyclopaedic) brain to reply to them lol

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

December in Photo’s

Christmas fleece – Cotton Traders

Joggers – Hunkermoller

Ugg/Emu style boots – Dorothy Perkins

Making the most of the dark afternoons by making the living room feel all cozy.

Lots of natural skincare and lifestyle goodies in this Freedm Street advent calendar (items available to buy individually from heir online shop).

Making ‘special coffees’ by adding Baileys or Sailor Jerries Spiced Rum and throwing in pieces of salted caramel or hazelnut caramel choccy.

Jumper – Shein

Joggers – Cotton Traders

Bizarrely, for someone who has disabling arachnophobia when I see one, this was one of my favourite books as a child. It’s magical and a little creepy!

Little reindeer I found at the back of a cupboard!

Sparkly chocolate vegan brownie from Zad’s takeaway.

Dad decorated the whole downstairs in under 15 minutes. Secret festive ninja!

I’ve been watching His Dark Materials on BBC iPlayer and I am so impressed with this adaptation. Especially my favourite bad-ass actress, Ruth Wilson as Mrs Coulter.

I’ve developed quite a obsession with cute cartoon penguins so I was really happy to get this card from my Dad ^_^

Tee – Next

Christmas fleece – Cotton Traders

Joggers – Cotton Traders

At the Blokes flat we have our 22inch Christmas tree. I swear, after Christmas this is being packed away exactly as it is now – it was so fiddly to decorate!

Like most people in he UK we don’t have candy canes but we do have gelatine-free sweets!

This wonderful wreath gives me serious Narnia vibes. Unfortunately where we live, neither of us can put wreathes on our front door as they would get nicked and given to someone’s Mam or Missus.

MOOEY CHRISTMAS YOU LOVELY LOT

🎄✨Chrissie✨🎄

Monthly Round Up – September

Now the weather has cooled my chronic fatigue and brain- fog has calmed a bit. Unfortunately this makes my ADHD (self diagnosed as a teen but wildly obvious) a lot worse. It’s like I’ve drunk three espressos all of the time. Nice to have some energy and my quirky personality back though! 😄 It took me five six attempts to be able to write this properly. 😆

Style

MY SLIPPERS
CUTE…
CREEPY (but very adorkable)

My ‘sensible dress’ which I hardly ever wear. However, I got so many compliments on it (over on my Instagram) that I’m going to wear it a lot more.

Food

We went to Allotment Vegan Eatery in town, which had beautiful food and cozy decor but would have been too dear if we hadn’t taken advantage of the government ‘eat out to help out’ scheme.

Had a lovely meal at Sai Spice in Chorlton. Here are leftovers of Mutter Panner (peas and cheese which tastes nicer than it sounds), Young coconut and green beans and vegetable Kolpahuri which was really piquant!

Vegan and gluten free cheese-on-toast using Genius bread and Follow Your Heart, Pepper Jack flavour. Wow!

Beauty

After three months of loosely following The Curly Girl Method (but with other products) my hair is shiny and soft, with less frizz AND holding it’s curl shape.

Lifestyle

The most geeky and awesome book I have ever read! This is like the crazy dreams I’d have regularly as a kid in the 80’s.

Still writing down happy things that have happened, as and when they occur, so I can read them back when I’ve been having a succession of shitty mental/physical health days, to give me some perspective.

Watching

Dark – Complex, family oriented sci-fi

Boardwalk Empire – Sprawling 1920’s Gangsta series set in Atlantic City

Hero’s – Series featuring time travel and a big cast of characters discovering they have unique powers.

The Months Most Used Emojis

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Really looking forward to a chilly but beautiful Autumn and Halloween of course. 🦇

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤