6 Things Making Me Smile

Saturday, October 5, 2019
This post was inspired by the series of blog posts of the same name by The Dainty Squid. She is a marvel and you need to go check her out.

Here's something that may not be news to you: depression and anxiety SUCK. I've been dealing with some depressive episodes lately (and no, I'm not using the terms 'depression'/'depressive' or 'anxiety' just randomly here - I have been diagnosed with both depression and anxiety, and I would not use these terms randomly and without forethought. I know when I am just a bit sad and when I am depressed. Just a small disclaimer before we get into things!), and honestly, it doesn't get easier to confront that wall of nothingness/numbness. I have had times recently where I have swung from wanting to sob until I throw up/pass out, to being so numb that I don't really see the point of much. I have an idea of why this is happening, and I have realised that I need to go back to extreme self-care once more, and that is helping. Wow, is it helping. Guys, I'm even writing my own fiction work again. I haven't really been writing since... well. Many moons.

Anyway. I saw a post from a favourite blogger of mine (linked at the top of this post!) listing things that were making her smile, and I wanted to give it a go. Cultivate that attitude of gratitude and all those cheesey cliches that still have some loving truth to them. So here we go!

1. Alphonse(al)
Yes, for those in the know, I am talking about my plush toy seal. I got Alphonse in Japan in 2016 and he has been by my side since then. He's looking a little rough round the edges these days - a few marks here, some pulled stitches there, and his stuffing - once softer than the softest marshmallow - is now getting pretty lumpy. But he supports me (physically) through so many pains, and comforts me (emotionally) just by being something lovely to squeeze when I am feeling overwhelmed. I am so glad that I got over my idea of 'adults not having stuffed toys' in my early twenties because, damn, this floofy guy has gotten me through so much.

Bottlebrush and beautiful sky~

2. Birdlife
There was a lot of birds about at our old house - the garden enticed all manner of birds, including honeyeaters, pigeons (of course), magpies, mudlarks, rainbow lorikeets, twenty-eight parrots, and even some lovely red-capped parrots. We also saw the odd kookaburra, which I adored. And chickens would regularly wander over from our neighbours yard.

It was hard to move away from that, but I have already spotted so many honeyeaters, wattle birds, mudlarks, and even our resident raven: I have named them Rufus. Rufus is a bit of a cheeky fellow, and often brings stale bread to soften in our bird bath, which I find hilarious. (Rufus has also been known to bring... other things. I found a bone in the bird bath once. Ravens have such varied diets.)

Spotted outside a book sale

3. Tea
I make no secret of how much I adore tea, and given that I used to review tea on this blog, I don't think it comes as much of a surprise that tea is helping me through some rough patches. I recently bought a teacup from one of my favourite secondhand stores - it's a gorgeous little item, white with red and pink roses, and gold trim that has almost been entirely rubbed away. I adore it. I've made many pots of tea and just sat down with a book or some writing, and happily made little cups of tea. I even managed a cup of Lady Grey tea recently, and it was delightful. I hope I don't have any fallout from that, but oh, how I love black tea.


4. Victober
I only recently stumbled across Victober, due to having a different booktuber suggested to me by YouTube. That booktuber (the lovely Katie of Books and Things) was discussing her Victober TBR, and consequently explained that Victober was a readathon during the month of October where you read as much Victorian literature as you can. I was excited - I have some small experience with Victorian literature, but not a lot, and I am so happy to be participating this year. I have already read The Warden (my first Anthony Trollope) and am just really loving getting to dive into so many wonderful books. I was lucky enough to find a few things to add to my tbr whilst at a recent secondhand book sale, and I am hoping to add a couple more later in the month if I can get to a secondhand book store, but I am also utilising my libraries as per usual. It's really comforting to me to feel included in something like this, and I am trying to stay engaged on Instagram as much as I can.


5. Flowers
I've been given flowers a couple of times in my life, and I am always excited, happy, and touched to have them. I don't know why I don't buy them for myself more often - I think it might be tied up in feeling 'unworthy' or something ridiculous like that, plus also maybe feeling as if they die too quickly to justify the expense? I can kind of understand that idea, but they bring me so much joy whilst alive, that I want to make more of an effort to have them. Xin bought me a beautiful pink waratah a couple of weeks ago, along with some lovely eucalyptus leaves (which smell AMAZING). The waratah brought a smile to myself every time I saw it, and I gave it a beautiful spot next to the sink in our kitchen, where lovely sunlight would make it glow.
The waratah wilted over time, but we have now replaced it with some amazingly vibrant orange roses. Orange has never been a favourite colour of mine, but this year I am learning to love it more and more, and these flowers are just... so joyful. Buying yourself flowers, or receiving them from someone, is just so glorious. (Apologies to those that are allergic!) [P.s. I hope you enjoy many photos of flowers throughout this post!]

The colour of these is just so vibrant!

6. My Weighted Blanket
Xin bought this for me for my birthday this year, and I have been rediscovering my love for it since we moved house. Some days I am actually too weak to use it (and trying to use it on those days makes me feel a little trapped and panicky), but on the days when I am having fibro pain (which is bad lately) or I need that little bit of extra comforting, this blanket is just wonderful. I know there's not a whole lot of research data to back up the assistance it offers, but I wanted to try it out, and I am so pleased with the results. It's comforting and helps with my pain - do I care if that's a placebo? {No. I don't.}

And there you have it, folks! These things are all helping me keep my head above water and, whilst I will never say that these things 'cure' my depression (because even with acknowledging them, I'm still having bad days because recovery isn't linear and depression/anxiety don't work that way), noticing them certainly helps. What's making you smile lately?

Love to all who read.

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