Three of Swords (Reversed)

Once I was yours
Three swords
Stabbed in my heart
Doubt, self hatred, heartbreak
You made me believe
There was nothing stronger
Or safer than your love
That I was powerless
But then I sent
a lightning bolt
Crashing my prison
to the ground
I lived in the ruins a while
Thriving from the misery
The pain I caused myself
Fuelling my hateful life
Then the stars shone
The goddess gave me her strength
And I pulled out the swords
Recovery, self love, hope

This poem is based on my favourite tarot card the Three of Swords. Would you like to see more poetry? Let me know below.

On Getting Back to Basics

As far back as I can remember I wanted to be a gangster writer.

I love writing, the feel of words and energy flowing out of you as you press keys and see your words flood out onto the screen. There’s never been a problem I can’t release through my words, even if nobody else reads them.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about my life over the last decade I hate to use the J word so early in but it really has been a journey. One I would never have gotten through if it hadn’t been for blogging.

2009 was undoubtedly the worst year of my life, I lost everything I knew and had to rebuild from nothing. Hot off the back of my first suicide attempt I didn’t know who I wanted to be or how I wanted to do it. Blogging was an escape, and the only types of “real” fun blogs I saw were fashion and style blogs.

From that I shaped my future, I chose to study fashion communication at uni, got to visit fashion week twice, changed my style and who I was to suit London fashion ideals. If you’ve ever met me in person you’ll realise I have the weirdest accent known to man and will copy your accent instantly, that comes from being looked down on for my north-east accent. But ultimately stretching so much to fit others instead of myself lead to burn out.

I kept blogging and writing my feelings and moved into writing about my disability, this led to me finally realising my niche whingy essays about my shit body! I realised that people would pay me to cry onto a page and ran with it.

My style of writing is and has always been first person essays, even back in the style blogger days I’d constantly be talking about myself. Nowadays I make my bread by writing about the hard times in my life or reacting to recent events in the news. I make my living by selling these to editors who then have to make this depressive stuff marketable. In today’s world all stories are judged by how much ad revenue they will bring the site, meaning that my deeply emotional story about how getting a dog saved my mental health isn’t worth anything to them.

This way of working fed into what I have to contend with inside my head every day. You see I have that great combination of depression and anxiety that can both convince you you’re not writing enough whilst at the same time tell you there’s no point in writing because it’ll be shit, nobody will want to read it, you’ll upset everyone and they’ll all think you’re stupid.

As if that wasn’t bad enough my disabilities, the menopause and medication give me what is accurately known as brain fog, making my mind feel like soup and making even the simplest words hard to remember or get out.

I found myself judging every idea I had by if an editor would like it and if it was bankable and in the end letting great pieces pass me by and fall out of my brain for worry that it wouldn’t make me any money.

I couldn’t tell you the amount of things I haven’t written in the last year because they wouldn’t make me money. No I really can’t. I’ve forgotten them.

Expressing my feelings by how much they’re worth is a horrible way to live and it’s only when it was highlighted to me that I don’t have to be paid for all of them that I realised this.

Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m crap at talking about how I feel, sure I’ll share all the great things and rant if somethings provoked me but when I’m truly upset I just can’t get the words out of my mouth. But they can always come out of my fingers onto the page.

But when I put a price on my thoughts and feelings and only prioritised letting out those that would make me money I took away my way of processing what was going on. I effectively cut off my hands and locked down my heart. meaning they all got stuck in there and jumbled. I snapped more and spewed them out after too much wine, had bad nightmares and generally couldn’t function.

I can’t carry on like that. I need somewhere to share everything I love and bit of what I don’t. I need to let my thoughts out of their cage. So if you need me I’ll be on the beach with my doggy, scribbling in a notebook.

I need to let myself be free.

I didn’t allow
to heal
I gave
my heart

From my debut poetry collection Phoenix: Notes on Rebirth, available on kindle


On End of Year Achievements

At this time of year my social media feeds are full of others sharing their new jobs, book deals or that they won an amazing award  and while I’m happy and proud of my friends it can leave me feeling a bit flat.

One of my worst traits is that I constantly compare myself to others, i see their success as my failure- why haven’t I written for this publication, how did they get a book deal and I didn’t? How can they be 5 years younger than me and so much more grown up?

I think a big problem with end of year achievements is what we see as achievement ourselves. Yes recognition for our hard work is good but there’s so much more in life that you can achieve. What about discovering new things about yourself? Finding new things you love and making new memories.

Sure creating your new favourite dish wont win you a michelin star, but getting to make a meal for someone you love brings its own rewards.

Last week I shared a tweet about how other people’s end of year highlights were making the tweeter feel like they’d achieved nothing, I empathised and thought nothing of it. It wasn’t until a few hours later that my boyfriend told me that seeing me share this on his feed upset him that I stopped and thought about it.

Where I saw the year as a bust because I’d written less, failed some exams and was generally in the brain toilet with my mental health, he’d seen our year together as successful because we’d moved in together, made what was his flat our home and added to our family with an amazing puppy who had changed our lives in every way.

With this new perspective I began to realise just how much I had achieved last year. Whilst it was true that I did fail 2 exams, the fact still remains that I had the courage to return to education and despite my anxiety travelled to two unfamiliar cities alone to sit them.

Whilst I may not have had my dream holiday and have travelled the world I still managed to spend 5 days in Tenerife despite having an illness that is triggered by heat. Although I didn’t win all the awards and land my dream job I did write from the heart pieces that helped others. Instead of pushing myself to look perfect and reach a certain standard I discovered a joy in gentle exercise which gave me a love for my broken body in the process.

And there’s no denying that I was firmly in the brain toilet for a time but I pulled myself back out and kept going, more than that I admitted to myself that I was struggling and went back on antidepressants.

When standing separately these are all small things but together thy add up to one big year. I hope that when the time come for next new years reflection I can see the good in the year before the bad.


This is a space for musings and to share personal updates (basically the non profitable opinions).  It’ll run alongside my professional website which is for work, my portfolio and news.

There are also a few older blog posts that I’ve rescued from my now defunct blog or Medium. These are pieces that offer advice or insight into reproductive and mental health or opinion pieces that I’m particularly proud of.

#Uterexit- The Story of my Hysterectomy

[This is an archived post from my old blog or Medium that I was particularly proud of originally published in 2017. All info was correct at time of publishing]

On April 18th it finally happened- after 5 years of fighting I got my hysterectomy!

The build up to it has been absolutely immense; the four months since I found out I was on the waiting list have felt like an absolute lifetime and I’ve gone through every possible emotion in that time. For the last couple of weeks I’d lived in a constant state of terrified and excited, there was even something I didn’t expect in there- grief. But finally the big day came.

I’d made the decision to live tweet the whole experience, some people might think this is odd but I share a big part of my life with Twitter and use it as a platform to talk openly about my reproductive health in order to (I hope) raise awareness, so really it was a no brainer. I used #uterexit and will be using it during my recovery too.

So we packed up all of my belongings (I was told to expect to be in for 3-5 days) and headed to hospital for 7.30 in the bloody am.

And then I waited.
And waited
And waited

Seriously I thought that by having to be there so early it would mean I’d get an early surgery, I have never been more wrong in my whole life. In reality I only had to wait until 3pm but when you’re sitting around doing nothing but waiting (and reading 100 pages about Katherine of Aragon, listening to Radio 2, chatting to strangers, colouring in, writing) for 6 hours that’s a long time. Add to that the fact I hadn’t eaten since 10pm the night before or had any water since 6am that morning and I was getting pretty fed up.

Thankfully Twitter provided a welcome distraction, the outpouring of support and love made me tear up every time I checked my mentions. There was also my ridiculous friends who messaged me constantly with terrible jokes abut my uterus- this might sound harsh but they knew that if they were nice to me I would’ve been in a worse state. There was also a minor distraction in the shape of the PM calling a snap general election- really Theresa will do anything to overshadow me.

I spoke during the day with various doctors who explained the procedure to me. I was going to have a laparoscopic hysterectomy where they went in through 4 points (my belly button, just above my pubic hair and either side of my stomach) and removed the uterus, fallopian tubes and cervix. Though I’d requested the ovaries be removed too I was shut down because of my age. This one I accepted as the ovaries can help prevent dementia and bone problems. I was glad they were taking away the tubes and cervix as I’m currently being tested for the BRCA2 gene which is known to cause “female” cancers.

The whole day I wasn’t very nervous, I was anxious sure but I never doubted my decision or thought of cancelling it. Even waiting on the bed in the anaesthetic room when a panic attack was threatening to take over my body I kept thinking how much better my life would be without this horrible thing inside me.

I was woken up at some time around 5, my first words were to my boyfriend who I had apparently been having a dream conversation with about him not giving me cheese. Very me. I was kept in recovery for an hour and a half, during which I was confused and upset a couple of times. The pain was very severe but I was also given morphine which made me all warm and fuzzy. The one thing I remember clearly from recovery is when the nurse showed me a photograph of my uterus. I proclaimed “oh my god look at the tiny thing!” and burst into tears the way a new mother would.

At 6.30 I was finally taken back onto the ward, to the relief of my parents and partner. I was in a bit of pain and needed more painkillers but I wasn’t sad. I felt relieved. This was finally over.

The first night in hospital was tough because I had to keep getting up to go to the toilet, yet the motion sickness from standing up meant I vomited every time I did. It probably didn’t help that I was obsessively ramming ginger nut biscuits in my face either though.

It’s been 6 days since the operation and honestly I expected recovery to be tougher than this. Sure I’ve had a bit of pain but it’s nothing compared to the excruciating attacks I used to have. Mood wise I finally feel fully at peace, oddly zen. I’ve had a couple of wobbles when the pain  has been bad but I’m so happy in my decision.


If you want to see a photo of my uterus click here– warning though it is my literal uterus and you might find it a bit gross.

Cervical Cancer Screening and HPV Q&A

[This is an archived post from my old blog or Medium that I was particularly proud of originally published in 2016. All info was correct at time of publishing]

If you are a vagina owner around the age of 25, you’re probably nearing your first smear. I know that this can be quite daunting, but it’s such an important thing that you really can’t afford to miss it. I had my first cervical smear at the age of 24 and they found HPV, since then I’ve had check ups every year and thankfully it’s been OK. So with this in mind, I asked my social media friends to give me their questions all about smears and HPV.

How do you best prepare for your smear or colposcopy?
The best way to be prepared in my opinion is by doing your research, find out what the examination involves and ways that you can make it easier on yourself. If you are nervous about it, try and talk to someone who is qualified or has had it themselves who can put your mind at ease. On the day, wear loose fitting and comfortable clothing- skirts and dresses can even sometimes be left on if they’re easily rolled up. If you feel comfortable doing so, share your concerns with the practitioner so that they can make it as easy as possible for you.

What happens at a smear?
A cervical cancer screening, commonly known as a smear or pap smear (US), happens when you hit 25 and then every 3 or 5 years (depending on where you live). You’re asked to strip from the waist down and lie on the bed with your legs in the stirrups. You are then examined by your nurse using a little device called a speculum to open you up. Some swabs are taken to test for cervical cancer and HPV. The examination really doesn’t take very long but can be a bit uncomfortable.

Does a speculum hurt?
It can for some, but mostly it’s just a bit uncomfortable. Most practises use plastic speculums now so they’ve a lot gentler than the old metal ones and they come in a range of sizes. They’re also lubed up to slide in easily. It’s only really in your vagina for a few minutes, but if you are in pain you can ask to stop at any time.

What is HPV? Can you explain the different levels?
Human Papiloma Virus is the worlds most common sexually transmitted infection (4 in 5 people) as it’s mainly spread by skin to skin contact; genital to genital, oral, vaginal and anal sex. Most people won’t show any signs of HPV and in a lot of cases the infection is just fought off by the body. HPV can cause changes to cervical cells which can lead to cancer. Of the over 100 types of HPV, around 13 can cause cervical cancer. This is why a smear test is so important.

Has having HPV affected your life?
Not really, when I was first diagnosed the fear from being so uninformed scared me more than anything else. And now it’s just the worry of finding out if my status has changed every year. I tell sexual partners I have it, but I’ve never encountered a stigma because it’s so widely spread.

What happens at a colposcopy?
If abnormal cells are found at your smear, you will be invited to a colposcopy. It’s just a more detailed way of looking at your cervix, done using a microscope at a hospital. The microscope will not go inside your body, with the speculum going in again. They do a couple of tests with either vinegar or iodine (which can sting a little) to bring out the colour of the abnormal cells. To get a proper diagnosis, the colposcopist will take samples of your cells. This can be done with either a punch biopsy, which can hurt a little bit, or a loop biopsy which is a longer treatment but done under anaesthesia (honestly the needle is the most painful part).

What happens next?
If you have a clear smear then you will be invited back routinely every 3 or 5 years. If your smear finds HPV you may require treatment, and you will be asked back for a smear yearly to monitor the situation.

Some great references
– Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust

Lex Croucher did a great video on the topic

I wanted to end this post with a reminder to book your smear, it can save your life! 
And if you got yours recently 

My Experience With The Mirena Coil

[This is an archived post from my old blog or Medium that I was particularly proud of originally published in 2016. All info was correct at time of publishing]

In May 2015 I changed my birth control from the Depo injection to the Mirena Coil (IUD). I’d been on the Depo for 2 years and it worked great for me, except I had osteoporosis and it makes bones denser, but we’ll come back to that. When changing contraceptives, I consulted my GP and she recommended the Mirena coil. To be honest I didn’t have many options left, because of my illnesses I can only take certain contraceptives- the mini pill did nothing to control my cramps and bleeding and I’d tried Depo, so onto the next one.

The Mirena Coil is a little T shaped device that is inserted directly into the uterus and releases small amounts of hormones. Trust me, any Doctor that tells you women feel “mild discomfort” on insertion is sugar coating. To get the coil into your uterus, you’re given an injection directly into your cervix, this dilates it and can make it contract (On the website this is described as “an antiseptic solution”, it’s a needle). They then have to get the inserter 5 cm into your cervix, as mine would only allow it to go 2 cm’s I had to referred to a specialist
DO NOT allow your Dr to keep pushing as this can perforate the uterus. I’ve heard stories of easy insertion and good for you if you had one, but mine was not easy, it was possibly one of the most painful experiences I’ve ever had and I bled heavily with cramps for a week after.
For the first few months, I thought it was great and any problems and changes in my body I put down to other illnesses (god knows I’ve got enough!), I thought I’d found the perfect contraceptive. but looking back now it all makes so much sense. The cramps disappeared for a couple of weeks but they came back every few weeks and were as bad as ever, I was treated for water infections a few times but nobody ever even thought about taking my coil out.
In August I was even admitted to hospital; I was dizzy and had a temperature, my uterus was in constant cramping state, it was treated as a pelvic infection caused by the coil but it wasn’t took out, the scans at hospital found a cyst on my right ovary but I was told there was nothing to be done.
Over the next few months my body went through major changes, I don’t know why I didn’t associate the two but every single one of these is a side effect of Mirena:
-I completely lost my menstrual cycle then now its came back I get it every 8 weeks for 10 days,
-I have very heavy cramps so much so that I take codeine nearly every day
-My moods have changed dramatically- I’ve been suicidal, I cry pretty much every day and my anxiety is through the roof.
-I get headaches and migraines every day and my vision is blurred sometimes.
-My boobs constantly ache, so much so that I barely wear bras anymore
-I’m nauseous a lot, particularly after eating, leading me to lose 2 stone. And even when I can’t eat I feel bloated.
-Vaginal discharge, inflammation of cervix, vulva or vagina.
-Pain during and after intercourse.
-Anemia- I was even given pills for this by my GP and they never connected it with my coil.
-Hair loss, skin irritations and back pain- I put these down to my other illnesses but all tests showed these were under control.
In November it all finally snapped it place and it was only because of seeing Elle tweet about the constant boob pain she was in and how this was related to the coil, I hadn’t even thought about it before. As someone who is on a lot of medication and reads everything before starting new treatment, I couldn’t believe that I’d allowed myself to just take my GP’s word for it. And that’s the thing I’m seeing in a lot of Mirena cases, most women are sold the Mirena coil as a wonder contraceptive and never fully told of the risks.
I raised my concerns next time I needed to go to the Dr, again with another UTI, and was brushed off yet again. So next time I went to see my Lupus consultant I brought it up with her. Her main point of confusion was to why I was taken off the Depo in the first place, I told her that it was the bone density risks with my osteoporosis, to which she explained that my last bone density scans were taken 7 years ago. So there may’ve been no reason for me to be taken off it in the first place. I had new scans and was supposed to discuss different contraceptive plans in the new year, and that takes us to this week.
By this point, aches and pains, in my lower abdomen are a pretty standard thing, but on Sunday it got worse than it had been since the aforementioned August hospital trip. I could barely walk and even had to use my cane in the house. The best way to describe it is that it felt like something was crawling around on my uterus. I knew I needed that thing out of me. Sick of being fobbed off by my GP surgery I went over their heads and went to my local sexual health clinic, they did my second insertion as my GP couldn’t do it safely, And honestly I wish I’d gone there in the first place. I had a quick consultation, got up on the bed and plop it was out of me. I’m still in quite a bit of pain as the removal is a bit painful but I hope it’ll get better.
Looking back at it now, I feel stupid when I think of all the warning signs I had and didn’t connect the dots. The thing with Mirena is that it’s billed as the perfect contraceptive and  for some reason GP’s seem to believe this. I’d greatly recommend doing your research before deciding if Mirena is right for you and if you are on it and notice any bodily changes keep a log and persist with your doctor. You know your body better than anyone.
If you’ve also been affected by the Mirena coil or this post has resonated with you, please consider signing this petition for more research into the effects of the contraceptive

In Defence of Trigger Warnings

[This is an archived post from my old blog or Medium that I was particularly proud of originally published in 2017. All info was correct at time of publishing]

This week I appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour in a debate about trigger warnings and whether they protect people or create a bubble, you can listen to the episode here. On the panel were psychologist Terri Apter who thinks they stifle debate and Sorana Vieru from the National Union of Students who spoke about their usage in education. I was there defending the use of trigger warnings in the online world because they allow me to actually use the internet without fear.

A Trigger warning is a brief sentence at the beginning of a piece or post that simply informs the reader that there will be sensitive topics discussed that may affect them. For example:

“Trigger Warning: Suicide, brief description of suicide methods.”

A trigger warning is not for every single subject and thing that may upset a reader, but for things that could bring back a painful memory of something that had a deep affect on someones life such as abuse or self harm that could trigger a flash back, PTSD symptoms or even cause the reader to hurt themselves or others.

I primarily write from personal experience, so tend to write about the worst parts of my life that have affected me the most. I do this to tell others they’re not alone, to give hope to others in similar situations and as a form of therapy- it’s very cathartic after all. But just because I write about things such as infertility, abuse, suicide and rape threats doesn’t mean that I have to force others to read it. The last thing I want to do is trigger someone who is going through a tough time, so yes it might mean that person doesn’t read what I write but I want to give them the choice.

I probably use trigger warnings mostly in my daily life within groups on Facebook. As a part of the chronic illness community I’m part of many groups which discuss sensitive subjects on a regular basis. These are groups that include women who cant have children, abuse survivors, trans people and those with mental health problems. Trigger warnings help us all to navigate these spaces and interact safely. There’s an argument that trigger warnings within spaces like that stop people from being active members of communities, but for the most part we’re happy to help members navigate trigger warnings and ask if possible. More than anything it just makes it easier for the person to scroll past something that could harm them mentally. For example if I see that something has a rape trigger WARNING I wont read or view it and it keeps me safe.

Those against trigger warnings argue that it stifles debate, but more than anything they’re there to help prepare and aid the user going into a situation so that if this subject does arose they can either choose to remove themselves or debate safely. It’s knowing that something particularly harmful could be discussed and having the tools at hand to put us on an equal footing with people who may not have had these bad experiences.

Think back to the last show you watched with a particularly traumatic story line, what did the announcer say before?

“The following show features scenes of a difficult nature that some viewers may find upsetting”

Trigger warnings have been around on TV and in films for decades but for some reason its attributed to generation snowflake as another excuse for how we’re “too sensitive”.

Whilst triggers warnings before TV shows are deemed okay, discussing them online is often fought back against, as some class them as “spoilers”. This was something I experienced when I tweeted about “TW Rape in this weeks Game of Thrones”. I did so from a place of wanting to prepare others who could have been affected by it, but what I received in response was about 70 book reading bros telling me who died at the end of the season “spoilering bitch”. I understand that Game of Thrones is an exciting show and you don’t want to have a second ruined, but if I “spoiled” rape for you then we really have deeper issues to discuss.

The introduction of trigger and content warnings in education is in my opinion only a good thing. Whilst it is par of the course whilst studying History that you’ll cover war or that English Literature students may have to read books featuring abuse, it doesn’t mean that every student shouldn’t be prepared for this. By quickly noting at the top of assigned reading or an assignment that the module covers triggering subjects you put survivors on an equal footing to debate or achieve the marks they’re capable. Students should’t be forced to jeopardise their learning for fear of PTSD coming back.

In arguing that we’re creating a bubble by using trigger warnings people forget that we already do that in real life anyway. We cultivate friendships with people who we trust that wont make potentially harmful jokes. We distance ourselves from people who aim to attack us and push this subject on us and we walk away from situations if an argument becomes too much.

By refusing to acknowledge or use trigger warnings we alienate people with PTSD and mental health problems; and could potenially cause them more harm.

When Twitter Went From a Safe Haven to a Prison

[This is an archived post from my old blog or Medium that I was particularly proud of originally published in 2017. All info was correct at time of publishing]

I’ve been feeling really anxious with Twitter lately.

Over the last 5 years I’ve curated and carved out a place where I can be myself, talk honestly and share what I love. It sounds absurd to someone who doesn’t have an internet community, but it’s when I’m sharing my thoughts with carefully selected strangers that I feel most comfortable. But then just how “carefully selected” can it be when you have a public profile? The answer you’re all probably shouting at me is “Not very, Rach”.

I don’t know when I shifted from loving Twitter to feeling uncomfortable if I spend too long on it, but I can guess that it was some time between November 9th and January 20th. After the election and in the time leading up to the inauguration I watched Twitter with horror, as I did the whole world. The space that once felt like it belonged to me and my friends turned against us- but of course this discourse and hatred has been happening for a long time. Safe in my echo chamber with my other liberal friends I was blind to the darker side of twitter, the one that only seeped in when I spoke of feminist issues and would occasionally scream GET RAPED at me, before I blocked them.

Despite being a bisexual, disabled woman I still hold quite a lot of privilege; I’m white, cisgender, reasonably well educated and in a relationship with a man (I’m not naive to the fact that this means I pass as straight). This means I escape a lot of specific abuse on Twitter and instead I fall under the standard catch all “women are fuck receptacles or not good enough to fuck” banner of online hate. And while being call a c*nt or being threatened was bad, I can speak about it almost nonchalantly because it was a rare occurrence. Most of my time on Twitter was fun.

It has however steadily gotten worse over the last year. There was a fortnight I remember maybe in September where I didn’t go a single day without a man on the internet calling me an obscenity, telling me how wrong I was or threatening me. The threats became expected. But never at the same volume as they were after the election.

For those on the left it was hard for us to stay silent, but it was also hard for us to speak. It was hard to put into words how we felt, when the overlying feeling was fear. Creeping into everything. There’s one day I think will stay with me for a long time.

I tweeted about Marine Le Pen being a fascist and put my phone down, got ready, had lunch with my boyfriend before letting him drive me home. There was a diversion and I had to direct him, something I’m terrible at in the best of circumstances. Absentmindedly as we hummed along to whatever was on radio 2, I checked Twitter. I was immediately confronted by over 100 replies telling me I’m going to be raped by Muslim men without a leader like Marine Le Pen.

This was the first time I’d privated my Twitter in 5 years. I unlocked it again a few hours later when I’d stopped crying, full of anger but still more cautious than before.

If you follow me on Twitter you may have noticed that I lock and unlock my account on a regular basis at the minute, the last was because me and a pal were having a debate about a celebrities genitals and we wanted opinions. That in itself completely personifies my experience of Twitter, dodging abuse whilst being mildly (cough very) inappropriate with my friends. But it’s all I can do to keep it a fun part of my life and not delete the whole thing on a stupid whim.

My relationship with Twitter has always been a strange one. It’s something that simultaneously makes me feel sick and i hate going on, but at the same time can sit endlessly scrolling or will close then reopen again. I think the weirdest thing is how many feelings I have about a fucking website, why am I so connected and obsessed with a social media platform?!

I’m currently reading Girl On The Net’s book How A Bad Girl Fell In Love, if you’re familiar with her blog you’ll expect the vast amounts of filth but maybe not so much the battle with having an online life and a private one. As revealed in her book, the constant struggle to keep both lives separate led to her eventual breakdown. For me, the anonymity boat has long since sailed- I’ve been using my real name on the internet like some chump for nearly a decade now. But I can still identify with the anxiety side.

I became obsessed with follower counts, felt like I was never doing enough and was constantly checking twitter. If I’m not writing or tweeting or sharing images I feel anxious, but the fear of actually doing those things is even worse. I’ve been feeling my anxiety creep back in over the past couple of weeks. More and more I wake up in inexplicable panic that I’m not doing anything, but so paralysed by fear that I can’t.

I’ve found writing increasingly tougher since November, I feel like everything I’m writing is just silly and doesn’t matter when the world is coming apart at the seams. My once fun hobby blog Happy Little Syllables lies dormant for months at a time as it all just seems trivial.

This post was intended to be a nice lighthearted thing about my DIY cinema light box. But then I started on why I bought it. What seemed like a lovely story about picking myself up with a Treat Yoself on bad mental health day, that stemmed from me being told I wont get a hysterectomy until at least April and culminated in me crying about being called a cunt by a stranger on internet, again, became a massive feelings dump about life. That’s one thing I will always love about writing I guess. It helps me say the things I can’t actually physically say. (I did still publish a post about the light box. which is a lot funner than this)

As the world becomes more and more of a trash fire, social media has gone from being my safe haven to something I dread. It feels like every time I refresh my feed something worse has happened. Something more terrifying seems to have to been announced in the hour I was away.

I now find myself making a conscious effort to take time out from Twitter, on the weekends when I have more distractions and less time to mess around not working. When I can spend time away in the little bubble I’ve created, selfishly ignore the world for a tiny amount of time.

Before I have to refresh again.

How Trump Can Say All Those Things

[This is an archived post from my old blog or Medium that I was particularly proud of originally published in 2016. All info was correct at time of publishing]

So here we are, Trump meltdown number #235632, and he’s still in the running to be the next President of the United States. A man who can openly tell people to abuse others, who incites hatred and would potentially destroy everything we hold dear could become one of the most powerful leaders in the world. I swore to myself I wouldn’t write about him, I wouldn’t give him space on my page, but he’s unavoidable now. We watched this ridiculous joke candidate turn into the actual Republican nominee, with an army of supporters. And that terrifies me, so I felt compelled to write.

Here are some things we know about Trump:

Anyone with a brain in their head can see that this is a man who must be stopped, he can not be allowed to become the leader of the free world. Yet he’s still gaining numbers, he’s still an actual viable opponent.

Because he’s not alone in his thoughts, not by a long stretch. You only have to look at his rallies to see that. He is surrounded by thousands, millions of people with the same disgusting views as his.

He isn’t popular because he’s a visionary, he’s popular because he shouts the loudest.

He’s been given a platform, a media circus, to air these disgusting views. And he’s supported because these people finally feel brave enough to say it too. And although he hasn’t directly said it himself they can say that they think black people are less human than them. That women deserve less rights than men. To abuse others in the street for being different. To claim that black people, latinos, women deserve to die if they dare to stand up to white men. To say that women should be seen an not heard, chained to the kitchen and men’s to do with as they please. To think that black people should still be owned by white people.

They can sit for hours- days- abusing women online, because that’s what their candidate represents. They can sit behind their screens sending thousands of messages to people like the unsinkable Leslie Jones who’s only “crime” was being black and powerful and female at the same time. People like the amazing Ella Dawson, who when she supported Hillary had her whole life dragged up and destroyed. I myself have had to sift through countless trash can fires in my mentions, every time I dare to speak against him.

FREEDOM! To those who will hopefully never know the fear that marginalised groups do of walking the street late at night alone. The terror when you’re pulled over by a policeman and have to beg for your life to those who are sworn to protect you. Who will hopefully never have to suffer the agony of having their life destroyed by a man like them and instead of being believed find ridicule and anger directed at them.

Trump supporters genuinely think that white straight able bodied people are oppressed; when in fact they have simply become one of many narratives instead of the only one.

They believe that sexual equality relates to the destruction of marriage. And that to be a feminist means that you hate all men and want them dead. They believe that a woman’s body is not hers and that if she should become pregnant then the unborn child has more rights than her. They believe that immigrants are the biggest threat to America, despite there being gun related deaths every day at the hands of citizens. They believe that black people are all drug dealers or gang members and live in fear of what they refuse to know.

They’ve somehow painted this man who was given a “small one million dollar loan” from his father as the every man, a “blue collar billionaire” who will rise up against the establishment. Failing to see how much money he has pumped into the establishment and how much he uses power to manipulate ignorant people like them every day.

Instead of adding to the discussion and debating the issues at hand in the election, Trump and his supporters insist on shouting over those who need their voices heard. They abuse and threaten those who dare to stand up to him then cry that their country is being destroyed and they need to make it great again.

But what version of “good old days” do you want? A one before same sex marriage? A one where black people couldn’t drink out of the same fountain as whites? A one where women were given pitiful amounts for working the same as men or not even allowed to attend higher education? Or was even that not GREAT enough for you? Women and black people still had ridiculous ideals of grandeur then, or so the men in power thought.

I agree that America does need improvements, as does my own country of Britain. 31 million citizens can’t afford healthcareplanned parenthood is under attack from all angles, gun crime is out of control. But Donald Trump is not the person to do this. The only thing he can bring is hatred, the reassurance to the disgusting people of the world that what they’re doing and saying and spreading is ok. And by that point he wont need to build a wall or kick out all Muslims, because his supporters will be dragging anyone different out of their houses or attacking them in the streets.

Donald Trump won’t need to destroy the world, he’ll just watch it burn.

The only way Trump can be stopped is by voting, please don’t think that by not voting you’re protesting. Please do your civic duty and stop this.