5 Characters That Make Me

Hey pals,

 

This went around on Twitter recently (it was actually 4 characters, but I couldn’t narrow it down any further!) and I decided that these 5 characters, if you smushed them together and squinted a little, would make me. I didn’t get to explain this at all on Twitter, so I thought I’d do so here!

A big part of the factor is appearance. All dark short haired people who’re kinda androgynous. I’ll go through, character by character from here because it really does come down to their personalities and interests that makes me go ‘oh me’.IMG_5303

  1. Klaus (number 4): Umbrella Academy. Sassy, queer, wears some funky outfit choices… Honestly an icon and I like to think of myself that way. I used to smoke as much as he does in the show so I still heavily relate.
  2. Susanna Kaysen: Girl, Interrupted. One of several self-obsessed writers (which is my whole ass personality) who have made my list. She has BPD too, which… big mood. Though she is more on the IMG_5308quiet side, I find a lot of myself in her qualities, particularly her obsession with getting Lisa to like her and then realising how awful Lisa was for her and having the guts to return to therapy (or, inpatient for her…) But she shows you can regain control after a BPD diagnosis and I feel like I’ve shown this too.
  3. Jughead Jones: Riverdale. The other obnoxious and narcissistic writer, who is super moody and an edgelord. I mean, me too. I think one of the main IMG_5304links between these characters is their sense of humour, they’re all very witty and have really fast responses. Jughead is definitely on the more deadpan / morose side of my humour. Also wearing hats in winter. I desperately upset there aren’t any cafes of diners near me that look like the one in Riverdale because you would definitely find me there on my laptop as well.
  4. Haruhi Fujioka: OHSHC. I wish I was smart enough for a scholarship to a really expensive school, but Haruhi is kinda fluid and actually IMG_5305enjoys presenting as male and confusing people but doesn’t identify AS A MAN. SAME. Also, they call themselves dude and such and makes all the pretty boys uncomfortable. But also seduced them by accident (which is very not me, but I effing wish.)
  5. Viola (particularly as Sebastian): She’s The Man. Again, some gender weirdness. Obviously, Viola doesn’t identify as a man or genderqueer BUT I high-key am obsessed with her trying to pull of being a dude. Also, entirely hilarious, I think I developed my IMG_5306facial expressions based off this movie alone.

 

As an overall, they generally encompass my choice of clothing (Except maybe Viola… very early 2000s yuck) all have similar length dark hair, and are sarcastic as all fuck. That’s all you really need to know.

(Oh also, my birthday is in a week !! show me some love with a donation?)

 

~ Artie

Being Sociable With BPD: From Someone With BPD

Hey pals,

this was a guest post I wrote but the link I have for it doesn’t seem to work anymore, so I assume it is no longer up. It is a piece I really poured a lot of myself into and think is important to talk about so I’m re-posting it here to my own blog! I hope you enjoy

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There are a lot of things people don’t understand about BPD and the effect it can have on relationships. Making friends, talking to people, creating a connection, all very confusing for both parties. BPD is unpredictable and can be very different from person to person. So I’m going to try my best to encompass some of the difficulties and ways someone with BPD can make socialising easier on themselves. This can also help someone who does not have BPD to understand what someone might be going through.

 

​I’ve found (with myself and other people I have known with BPD) it can be hard to participate appropriately in conversation. Over-sharing with strangers is a big one; it’s like you lost your filter and once you start you can’t stop. You can see it in their eyes: “Oh God, who did I sit next to? How do I get out?”

​Or you find that you forget to reciprocate questions, or your questions are too personal. And it’s always too late for you to correct yourself. What’s worse? Pretending it didn’t happen? Or bringing attention to it and saying sorry?

​These things take a lot of practice. Start with small talk questions, they might be boring but not everyone will be okay with you asking about the scar on their face or which parent gave them the most emotional trauma growing up. Start with, ‘how do you know so-and-so?’ or ‘what do you do for a living?’

 

​Substance abuse is a big one for many people with BPD. Though I am technically not an alcoholic, I rely on alcohol during social situations either to get myself out of awkward conversation or to make it easier to ignore the anxious voice in my head. So if you have problems with alcohol or other drugs, try hanging out somewhere you can’t order alcohol. I love going for coffee with my friends and I have a terrible coffee addiction. Losing your logic and control to substances can also lead to impulsivity and risky behaviour. You might keep drinking to excess or buying others drinks to bribe affection from them, but you could also end up being somewhat unsafe in other ways too: unsafe/risky sex, going for a walk on your own, speaking to strangers. Generally your symptoms are much easier to aggravate as well. Try to set a budget for the night and tell your friends, they can help hold you accountable. It’s a slippery slope that can lead to a much worse situation.

 

​Splitting can be one of the more difficult symptoms to deal with. If you’re not aware of this term, splitting is the black and white thinking. ‘To split’ is to drastically have your feelings changed to the opposite end of the scale. Splitting can be triggered by something really small, like your friend making a joke at your expense. This could be okay any other time but this time it isn’t and now you hate them. Sometimes you can see what’s happening, but sometimes it’s so consuming you can only feel this emotion. Try to remind yourself that splitting is often temporary and you’ll probably feel better after you’ve had some sleep. If it’s still there the next day, then you should look more deeply into why that is.

 

The one piece of advice that will help you across the board is self-control. Urgh, yeah I know how that sounds to you. ‘How am I supposed to control feelings that are so huge and ugly?’ Practice. Also urgh, I know. But you really do get better with practice and you only really need to get to a point where you don’t outwardly lash out at people. Your feelings are huge, but they change so quickly you will regret taking it out on someone. Start learning to hold in your big emotions at the time until it’s appropriate or until they pass. It’s appropriate when you have a friend who knows and understands that sometimes you need to blow off steam and what kind of friend you need them to be. When I’m angry about something, I need to vent to someone not involved and be told that my feelings are valid and fair. But I also need to be told when I’m being the issue not the other person. It’s a hard balance for anyone and it can take time to get there. It all comes with open communication. Or therapy. Therapy is always a good idea.

If I don’t have access to this person, there’s another thing I’ve learned: leave the situation. If you can only leave for a bit, then do it. This is why I used to smoke so much; I’d leave the situation to go for a cigarette by myself or with someone else. I don’t recommend smoking! It tends to make you even more anxious and jittery than you were already.

One of the best things you can do is find a space or group for people with BPD for you to join. I understand this isn’t easy or always accessible but the benefits of going to a group are worth it. You can learn so much from other people because, even though it isn’t you, you really relate to other people’s problems in group. They also tend to give great advice and validate how you feel all in one go! It’s super exhausting though, in a good way.

 

DON’T join Facebook groups for people with BPD. Health professionals do not monitor them; the admins are also people with BPD and we are not always the best to control entire groups. When you’re genuinely looking for advice, no one will respond. The groups are all drama and people trying to start arguments. It’s just gross toxic energy, don’t bother. It will just wind you up.

DO speak to your GP or local mental health charity; see what services are available. I briefly attended the SUN group (which has a few locations but mainly Croydon so best to check with someone), it was peer advice and assistance for people with BPD and sometimes Bipolar Disorder.

 

Socialising is hard with BPD but then so is everything. If you are diagnosed relatively quickly and you’ve started noticing your patterns of behaviour, you can change it. The statistic is, after two years of treatment, 50% of people with BPD recover. Try to get into whatever therapy or treatments you can, do a lot of research to put words to your feelings, and go easy on yourself.

People with BPD are not inherently abusive like a lot of people think and it is often thought to be caused by trauma or other environmental factors. You can recover; it will just take some work.

 

~ Artie

 

Edit: Here are some links to videos I like, and YouTubers who have and continue to make videos about BPD !!

Kati Morton on Splitting

The Rewired Soul on Quiet BPD

 

Financially Not Great

Hey pals,

 

I had a lot of my plans fall through recently, which was pretty distressing to begin but now I’ve just accepted that it has happened. It has given me some new life possibilities that I would have never even entertained. For example, going abroad. Whether that’s to work, an internship, or just some travelling time, doesn’t really matter. I had to do everything with someone.

I’ve always thought myself independent (except not entirely when within romantic relationships) but having to start over from my Mother’s spare bedroom has given me some thought and clarity. A new perspective, one I really didn’t think I’d ever have.

I love living in the UK. I haven’t explored enough of it for one, but I like how it works (ish), I like what I’ve got here (sort of), and I’m pretty bloody useless at learning and remembering languages (I’ve tried, and I would like to try again). I think mainly, I don’t have to pay for my health care or prescriptions, which is pretty sweet.

I’m often flooded with the realisation of how big the world is, and how I haven’t seen hardly any of it. I want to change that. I’ve been thinking of the different options that might exist. I see groups of school kids from other countries over here during summer, meeting new people but in a safe environment. Considering I’m an anxious mess when it comes to travelling (and many other things that aren’t relevant right now) I wanted to see if I could find a way to travel somewhere with or meeting a group out there with secure accomodation. I clearly can’t trust anyone to do anything with me, OR they don’t have the money, so I do want to do this by myself.

I actually had a brief moment where I thought, ‘wow, who’d have thought I’d be happy to be single?’ because, sure, I was comfortable being alone, but for this reason I was actually happy about it. I would never (and I mean never) gone abroad by myself whilst with someone, I wouldn’t have put that distance between us, that strain. And it’s very freeing to realise that.

I originally wanted to go away somewhere or like everyone does inter-railing, but with a group. Or then I thought, I’ll just go to one place and travel out on their transport to other areas nearby. Then I saw an ad on instagram.

How about

~ an internship ~

So nothing is decided right now, I’m still doing my research. Unfortunately, any of these options would cost a lot (particularly the internship, this actually blew my mind). So, I’ll apologise now, but I’m going to put below ways you can help me with funds, there’s a selection so please don’t click off just yet! And anyone who has done, or is planning to, do something similar, please let me know your experiences in the comments! I’d love to hear more!

~ Artie

 

 

Here is a selection of ways you can help me raise the funds for something like this:

  • I have a Patreon with behind the scenes type content, stuff that no one outside of Patreon would have access to seeing in a selection of levels.
  • I am a brand affiliate of Geopetric.com, they are a vegan, cruelty-free, and fair wage company in the U.S for pet products. With my affiliate code you can get 20% off, and not just once you can use it on every order you make on the website. So use our code: LAYLABARKSALOT20
  • You can make any size donation to my paypal.me link
  • I have a depop where I sell a selection of items (preferably only to U.K residents as postage is awful) find me with @amiexdelisle
  • I do tarot card readings online via email for £1 (or whatever is equal for your currency) just hit me up on any of my social media for more information.
  • and finally if there isn’t anything you can do money-wise, then sharing would do a big help. There’s one of these posts on basically every platform I use.

Handwriting Sample & Dyslexia

Hey pals,

Browsing through the internet, staring longingly at beautiful stationary and even more beautiful handwriting, I came across someone’s handwriting sample. So, I don’t know, I wanted to do it and discuss my handwriting a little with you guys.

IMG_7291

Can I just say how impressed with myself I am for this photo? It looks like a scan!

Anyway, here’s my writing sample. I want to talk about the big ugly scribble first. Why didn’t I just do it again? Because I wanted to make this realistic.

I’m dyslexic.

What has that got to do with handwriting? Well, everything actually. My brain doesn’t work as seamlessly as others when it comes to anything written. That includes numbers, letters, English, other languages, all kinds of words or written communication.

I had a re-diagnosis test for literacy the year I started uni (actually it might have been technically the one before? Either way, 2014/2015) I learned that my reading speed is ‘average’ and ‘university’ reading speed was two speeds higher than mine! And I found out that my comprehension and short term memory wasn’t super great either, it was better with things I actually liked and found interesting (shocker!) and since this test I’ve found it deteriorates with stress, sleep deprivation, boredom… I’ve never been a good sight reader either (though actually I found I was quite good compared to my university classmates?? This may be where my drama training helped me develop skills I lacked).

My brain skips words, reads pages and pages without taking any of it in, ‘learns’ without retaining (hi, what’s a verb?? says the Creative Writing degree graduate…), it swaps round letters and misreads 90% of fonts (BECAUSE THEY DON’T MAKE THE LETTERS LOOK DIFFERENT ENOUGH!), assumes words based on the beginning and ending letter… learning how to spell sucks (you don’t need to know how many spelling mistakes I made whilst writing this post alone), and it generally works faster or slower when it’s most inconvenient. Oh, and don’t get me started on trying to figure out how I learn best, coz it changes every time I think I’ve got it.

Now I’m getting to the point! If I try really hard (which I did) I can make my handwriting look somewhat passable and legible. But writing notes… my writing is kinda ugly (see the sentence I wrote out above? That’s still far nicer than my usual writing). So the big ugly scribbles are where my brain went too fast for my hand. I also mix lowercase letters with capitals all over the place, I’ve heard this is actually really common amongst people with dyslexia. I don’t have the capacity to write in cursive, I’ve tried many times and it looks God awful even though it was part of teaching when I was in primary school.

I struggle using a keyboard (note: I still can’t touch-type due to my dyslexia, I just can’t remember where the letters are) and though I love writing in public or having study dates, everyone knows when I’ve made a dumb typo. There’s lots of head-shaking, eye rolls, and most often face-pulling.

This post started as one thing in my head and became something else after I wrote up my sample.

My handwriting is ugly, but not in the typical and somewhat cool way where it looks like chicken scratch and a doctor or university lecturer could have done it. That kind of ugly handwriting is linked with intelligence… which is the opposite of how I felt growing up with dyslexia. I still feel pretty stupid to this day sometimes because of my dyslexia. Everything has been more work.

If anyone reading this relates to what I’ve said, let me know your experiences and if you’d like to hear more about my battle against dyslexia. Or if you can see some of the above signs in your children, I suggest taking them to be tested and really push for the extra help (not everywhere is good at providing support when necessary).

I hope you enjoyed reading this spontaneous piece.

~ Artie