Sylvia Plath, Mental Health, and Girls

This post is a combined post about mental health day (yesterday) and girl’s day (today). It’s talking about my all-time favourite poet: Sylvia Plath.

She was born in 1932 and died thirty years later in 1963. Why did she die at the age of thirty? Suicide. She had attempted suicide many times, but they failed. Eventually, she succeeded by carbon monoxide poisoning.

As she wrote in some of her many letters, she felt that she wouldn’t get a place at the top universities because of her suicidal background. She did eventually get a place at Cambridge, where she met her future husband, Ted Hughes, who was once the poet laureate.

She talked, in her letters, that girls being suicidal wasn’t taken seriously back then, and that it would even affect their chances in education and work. Her doctor cared deeply about her mental health, however, and had tried to get her admitted to hospital several times, but they would not take her. The system failed her because they didn’t care enough about her mental health. She was also subjected to electroconvulsive therapy when she was depressed, which is a really awful way to treat someone.

In one letter, she mentioned that two days before a miscarriage, her husband had beat her. Many blame Ted Hughes for her death, and some even vandalised her grave, getting rid of the surname ‘Hughes’ and replacing it with ‘Plath’. Her son also committed suicide in 2009.

Nowadays, mental health is taken more seriously, but a lot of girls are still subjected to judgement: “it’s just hormones”, “it will pass”, “you’re not depressed, just sad”, “you don’t seem it”, “this is a phase”. Sylvia Plath was failed, but she did so many beautiful poems that will always honour her memory; don’t let anyone else be failed. Just because they’re young, doesn’t mean it’s a phase, or hormones, or anything else. Even if it is, just take them seriously. Wiping them away like rain on your windscreen will cause them to isolate themselves and, eventually, they might have a similar fate to that of Sylvia. I love her writing so much but a lot of it is sad. She literally wrote about her emotions and she still didn’t get the care she needed.

This post was about girls, as it is girl’s day, but that doesn’t mean you should forget boys. They are taught to be strong pillars, but allow them to fall down. If you don’t, they might have the same fate as Sylvia Plath’s son, Nicholas.

Simple Vegan Chocolate Oreo Milkshake Recipe

So, I originally was going to follow a recipe, but I didn’t have enough resources or the right kind of resources. This meant that I made it the way I wanted to, and it was awesome! This recipe is only for one milkshake, just times the ingredients for more. If you’re allergic to soy or almonds, you can substitute them for whichever milk/ice cream you use. 

What I used:

120ml Alpro Almond Milk (not my favourite brand but it does the job)

150g Chocolate Swedish Glacé (use vanilla if you prefer that instead of a chocolate flavour)

4 Oreos

My extremely simple recipe:

1. Shove that ice cream and milk in a blender. Blend until smooth. 

2. Add 2 Oreos to the mix and blend. I did this at a lower blender setting as I wanted little bits of Oreo in my milkshake. However, I noticed some big chunks that hadn’t blended properly and had to push them to the blade halfway through. I was alright with a few chunks left in the mix.

3. I then got a sandwich bag and put the remaining 2 Oreos in it, and got a rolling pin so I could beat them up until they were tiny little bits. I sprinkled this on the top of my milkshake, a few bits accidentally missing it and going in my mouth. Unfortunate. 

4. It just about fit in my mug (I don’t drink out of glasses, but you can!) and then I drank it. It was actually delicious. 

I hope you like this recipe that is simpler than all of those ‘add this, add this, oh and this exotic ingredient’ ones on the internet. I really liked the taste. It was lovely. 🙂

Lia

Stop

Stop, my ears hurt,

Stop, no more,

Stop, my mind is screaming,

Stop, I just want peace,

a space to sleep,

a space to relax,

a place to weep —

But I can’t even do that!

Stop!

I don’t know if I can take it,

my eyes are ice-cubes

unable to melt,

and my ears are hedgehogs

never withdrawing their spikes,

thanks to you

and not stopping.

I know your selfish wants

are above my needs,

but I just want serenity.

No more yells,

disturbances,

just tranquility.

Please? Stop?

Goodbye Christopher Robin

Today I went to see Goodbye Christopher Robin in cinemas, which is about the life of the real Christopher Robin (referred to as Billy by those closest to him). Despite the fact that it was also about the origin of Winnie the Pooh (which I once chose as the wallpaper for my room), it was a very sad story in my opinion. It was about a boy who couldn’t really be himself because he had to always be Christopher Robin, not Billy. He was forced into the limelight and made to take pictures. He once even had to take a picture next to a bear!

After doing some research online, as well, I found that the story was even sadder than what was seen in the films. He grew to loathe his father and, although he visited him occasionally, I don’t think he ever forgave him. His mother refused to see him once he married his first cousin because she was on bad terms with her brother, and kept refusing to until the day she died. He also had a daughter with cerebral palsy and a heart abnormality, which ultimately cost her to die earlier than she should have, at the age of 56. I think this was probably linked to the fact he married a relative, as it is usually bad for the children’s health if you do so.

I had always had suspicions that the Winnie the Pooh characters were metaphors for mental illnesses, but after watching this film, I have come to the conclusion that they were emotions that A.A Milne felt when serving during the war. He obviously suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. Although this was never mentioned, I think it makes sense, and is a clever way to address war in a subtle manner, as he always wanted to write something anti-war. He did eventually do a proper book on it, but before then, Winnie the Pooh was a way to express how he felt.

I really liked the film because it gave insight into the origins of a well-loved story, and I remember it being a big part of my childhood. It was still sad though, and Billy/Christopher Robin did get bullied for it at school, until he took up boxing. I think if his parents had shown more affection to him, maybe they wouldn’t have had such low relations later on in life. I think it is every child’s dream to be the main character in a book, but the fame that comes with it probably isn’t. It’s overwhelming and isolating. This film made that clear.

Thanks for reading!
Lia 

A Letter to My First & Second Bully

This letter is about two kinds of bullies. The first kind is the bully who is going through something tough and they’re just getting their anger out on someone weaker than them. The second kind is the one who either does it for popularity or just gets a thrill out of making someone suffer. This is a letter to my first two bullies; the first was someone going through something, the second smiled whenever I cried.

Dear my first bully,

I shouldn’t really call you a bully. You’re a human being. I don’t actually remember how you made me upset because all I remember now is the aftermath. You probably don’t recall, as we’re practically strangers now, but after we found out that you were going through a divorce, we became friends. Your mum and my mum were friends for a while too. I think we once went to pottery together.

I’m glad you were my first bully, though, because you made me realise that not all bullies are monsters. You were angry and hurt and you took it out on me and that’s okay. Although I wasn’t used to it when you bullied me, you helped me to develop an ignorance for what was to come, though it still hurt every single time they bullied me. I know you were a sweet boy behind it. It’s the school’s fault, usually, because they make up stuff about anti-bullying policies that they never stick to.

I forgave you so soon after because I saw the real you. You were only young too; we both were. I’m sure that you learned that it was wrong and that it never happened again. In fact, I think I’m positive of that, because of how a bully became a friend. Though we went our separate ways years ago, I still remember you. I think I won’t forget you.

Dear my second bully,

Nice friends you have to help you insult me. It would be harder to do it alone, wouldn’t it? You always have to come in a gang of three, like the movies, but you’re the ringleader, also like the movies. You never picked on anyone else whilst we were in the same class; not even that boy who everyone else picked on — you were friends with him. It was specifically me. Specifically me. Why? Because I was a girl but I wasn’t one of the popular, pretty ones. I had my hair tied up and I didn’t wear mascara. I also didn’t have my ears pierced. Bare in mind that I was eight, yet everyone else deemed it normal for girls of eight to be coating themselves in stuff. I don’t get it. But I was still a girl: weaker, more vulnerable than a boy. You also knew that I didn’t have confidence, regardless of the fact I stuck my hand up several thousand times. I did that to try and make myself feel better, but it always made me feel worse. Your sneering didn’t help. It never did.

You were also the type of bully that I would never report; you made sure of that. You were subtle, but threatening, and you made me cry in the toilets. Our teachers hated me (because I cried all the time), so they just moaned about me being a cry baby in parent evenings. I think my parents were shocked, but it meant that you could continue doing what you were doing. I didn’t cry much until I came into your path. Yours and theirs; all of the bullies, but you were definitely the leader. I could always tell that. You did it for an ego boost, a popularity boost, security. You needed to feel like you had value because you never cared for class, so your grades weren’t the best; so you bullied me.

Still, it made you smile. It always made you smile, and that sickens me. Funny how sick rhymes with your name, isn’t it? You were another boy, just like my first bully, but you never became my friend. I will also never forget you, because if you hadn’t happened, maybe it never would have gotten so bad. Maybe I wouldn’t have had crippling anxiety for years to come; anxiety so bad that important grades suffered. I would tap my fingers through exams, thinking and thinking about how my life came to that point. And at one stage, I came back to you. And I was always disappointed with my results. Always disappointed. I think I could have done better; I certainly studied a lot. I think all of it was because I couldn’t focus. I just wanted to get out of that room and run out of that gate, all of the time. Maybe you were involved in some way, psychologically messing with me, even though I hadn’t been at your school for a few years.

Thank you for making my life a misery.

Thanks for reading this post. If you’re getting bullied, it’s tough, and sometimes no one will help you (at least, in my case) but you will always get online support. I am always here and so are so many other people. It’s a hard time but you can get through it. 

Lia

 

Questions

When we’re children, we see things for the first time, experience things for the first time, and our reaction is pure. We question the world too, asking stuff that we would never ask again because we’d grow up and develop a narrower mind. It’s true. Our minds are very open when we’re young, and then the experiences start to define us, and we close our minds, so that we don’t have to think about stuff we can’t comprehend.

What makes philosophers great is that they never stop questioning, and their minds become as open as the world around them. Though some of them still have narrow-minded approaches to certain things (*cough*Aristotle*cough*), they still see the world in a way that very few do. They would ask the simple questions that nobody would ever answer. It’s not about receiving the answer, but about letting the question out in the first place. In today’s society, we are still deeply narrow-minded and more selfish than we have ever been in history. We don’t stop to think about why we get scared over trivial things like doing a presentation in class (one of my own fears) when we actually have the advantage of education. Education is supposed to broaden our minds but, in my opinion, it does the opposite. This is simply because we learn stuff to do well in exams and exams are all we ever see in education. We don’t think about the bigger picture. As well as this, we don’t get taught about the bigger picture. We get taught things that will never matter, they’re only for an exam paper. Back in the day, there were philosophy schools, founded by some great philosophers, like Plato. If more schools taught us about philosophy and the questions that really matter, then we wouldn’t worry about our future so much. The future is a very temporary thing, as we are very temporary. We worry about our own tiny lives, without realising that our own lives are very trivial in the grand scheme of things.

Of course, it is a perfectly human trait to worry about yourself, and your own life, but I just like to think about the bigger things sometimes, and that makes me stop worrying, at least temporarily. I think about how our existence is a wonderful thing, yet we continue to abuse it. We are not monsters, but I am sure other species think of us as that. The way we treat the Earth, and the other living beings on it; we were given these minds so that we could use them kindly, but instead we use them like a weapon. Why do we use our minds as a weapon? What are we hiding from? Our minds are tools, and they should be sharpened like other tools, but they should not stab other minds. They should sharpen each other. Then, we’d be able to see the bigger picture, instead of our personal pleasure.

The questions are waiting to be asked. You don’t need to answer them; only ask. Just like when you were a child and you questioned everything. Become like that again.

What questions did you ask when you were children? I asked ones that could be seen as offensive if I wasn’t a child! I was just curious!

Thanks for reading,

Lia 

Game of Thrones [TV Show Review]

This is mostly spoiler-free. There are slight glimpses into the show but nothing that reveals a lot about it.

I have been watching Game of Thrones for not that long, but I am already three episodes into season five, because it’s one of the most addicting things I have ever watched. Every episode features several cliffhangers that you might not see the result of for a few more episodes, so you have to watch on, to find out what happens.

 Without including too many spoilers, I will state that there are characters you love and characters you hate, but all play a part in the story, so it is still unpleasant when a horrible character dies; though somewhat satisfying. And characters will die, whether you want them to or not. They will all die. Even characters you thought were safe because they’re such an integral part of the story. Sorry, nope, dead. But new characters are added too and then you become attached to them — and they die as well. It’s just the circle of life, somewhat sped up.

 One of my favourite characters is Tyrion Lannister, whom is often belittled and made to feel worthless because of his smaller stature (due to dwarfism) and because his birth resulted in his mother dying, but he is one of the wisest characters in the series and it is very saddening to see how little some members of his family think of him. Another favourite is Daenerys Targaryan, who, for the majority of her life, was made to feel like nothing more than a little girl that her brother could do with as he pleased.  So she knows what it feels like to feel insignificant as well, yet she becomes a strong female ruler and someone who is worshipped, something that her brother never had. No one ever willingly worshipped him, because they didn’t love him like they do her. And then, following in the pattern of being perceived as lesser of a human, we have Jon Snow, a bastard. He had a loving father and loving siblings, but he was never the Stark that he wanted to be. His step-mother was cold to him because he wasn’t hers, and he would never carry the family name, but he becomes a leader in his own right too. A leader without formality. You don’t need to be a king or a queen to be a leader. Jon Snow is a natural leader. There are a lot more characters that I love, and have loved (before they were ripped away from me), but this post would be very long.

 The storyline is wonderful and I actually haven’t had a favourite season, but perhaps Season One wasn’t so good because you weren’t expecting the deaths. Now, you know what to expect. Back then, it was like WHATNODONTDIE. Season five has been good so far, with another cliffhanger wanting me to watch the next episode tomorrow night.

 Actually, the actor who played Olly was at school with me — in the year below, but I don’t remember him leaving much to go do Game of Thrones, so perhaps he did it in the summer holidays. I didn’t actually know that he was in it at the time, as I didn’t watch it, but my friends did.  He was in my house and became head of my house and then, when I left school, he became head of the year. I just thought he was a smart and popular boy, but he was also in Game of Thrones. That’s quite cool. 

I really love this series now and am sad that it won’t last forever, because I would be willing to watch 2000 seasons of it. I love the intro too; very catchy music, and every episode I notice something new on the map. It is so cool! Just the entire series is really.

Thanks for reading,

Lia

Routine and Fashion

As you are probably aware, I’m autistic, which means that routines are a big part of my life. I can’t deal with someone changing the plan or not giving me specifics; it gives me a kinda meltdown. But sometimes I get overwhelmed with the plan too and then I have to cancel myself.

Due to my like of routines, my clothing choices rarely vary. I have to have the same style of clothing every day. For me, this routine is greyscale. I wear black, white and shades of grey in-between. I don’t usually vary from this colour scheme. I’ve been using it for several years now and don’t see it changing anytime soon.

As well as this, I have this houndstooth bag. One time, my mum went to a workshop for autistic parents, and they mentioned that the houndstooth design is fascinating to autistic people. I had this bag before my mum even went, so she found it really interesting that they were saying that lots of people like me have a similar interest in it.

Another thing is my footwear. I always have to wear boots; black, relatively small boots. Even in summer, when my parents are saying they’re too warm, I have to wear them. The texture is good. Unlike other footwear (*cough* canvas shoes *cough*) where the material really feels funny against my feet, they feel alright and they also look nice, so I wear them. I’m not a massive fan of the feel of my socks because they feel tight and itchy but they have nice designs and those designs make me wear them, and it’s hard to find nice-feeling socks that also have nice designs, because I have to have a nice design! Socks are also my exception to the greyscale rule. I can wear any colour of sock, as long as it’s a good design.

I wear clothing that is wildly inappropriate for the season. In summer, I had to wear leggings, and sometimes I’d get really hot and sweaty, but at least it fit in with my routine. And now, I have to wear the same coat I wore in the summer, which isn’t the thickest coat, so I get cold. But routine is always the most important thing to me.

Do you have any clothes that you won’t stop wearing, no matter what the season?
Lia

Awesome Blogger Award

I was nominated by MyMindSpeaksAloud

And now, here are the rules for the award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Tag it under #awesomebloggeraward in the Reader.
  • Answer the questions your nominator gave you.
  • Nominate at least five awesome bloggers.
  • Give your nominees ten new questions to answer.
  • Let your nominees know that they’ve been nominated.
  • If you could go back in time and change a memory without it influencing the present, what would you change and why?
    I would make it so that I stood up, just once, to the people who weren’t very nice.


  • If you could pick a person/pet to join your family who would you pick?
    I would pick MyMindSpeaksAloud because then I’d have someone in my family that actually shares my interests. 😉 Or I’d pick Amy Lee, because who doesn’t want to have the lead singer of an awesome band in your family?


  • What’s your favourite thing to do at night?
    Talk to my friends over in different countries. I’d really love to go to Finland or Germany one day. Hehe. 


  • What’s your most invaluable yet valuable possession? (something that is physically not worth much, but means a lot to you)
     Diego and Smiler. We got them both for free sooo… Diego was given to us by a friend and Smiler moved in to our home. Also, Smiler is old and silly, so that makes his worth about -£10 a week. He literally takes money from us. What is he doing here?
  • What weather do you hate the most? Now write a short creative piece – whatever words come to mind.
     I hate it when the sky opens its doors, and the clouds flee, and all that you see is the sky’s light bulb. Don’t get me wrong: a small dosage is nice, but it’s when the earth becomes cracked and the birds start to salivate. It’s when your lips don’t remember what moisture is, and it’s when your eyes could fall asleep just anywhere. It’s when you can’t hide inside because “it’s such a nice day!” but you want to. It’s when you’re forced into its direct path, and you have to endure it. Unlike with rain, or with wind, you can’t shelter from this. You have to go through it, whether you like it or not, until your heart slows, and your skin burns, but it’s Summer, so you better go enjoy it. 


  • What’s the most thought-provoking film you’ve watched?
    I quite found ‘Before I fall’ thought-provoking. Like, is that what’s going to happen to me when I die? I don’t want to die like that. 


  • What do you fear the most in the approaching months?
    I guess at the moment my mum’s surgery, but that should be okay, but she usually gets an infection afterwards which worries me so I hope it goes okay. 


  • What are you most proud of that you’ve accomplished within the last year?
    I completed my A-Levels, even though I was suffering with mental health issues whilst taking them. It was really hard and I had to stop going to college, but I still completed it and got a good grade.


  • If you could only call one person before you died, who would you call and what would you say?
    I would call my mum, because she always reassures me that stuff is going to be okay, even if it isn’t going to be.


  • Sit back from the computer for a second. What is your thought process? Write it down however crazy it may seem.
     Who is this person and why is she forcing me to sit back from my computer? Who does she think she is? I am not taking this anymore! Oh wait, I just sat back from my computer… This mind-controlling witch! :O

    Thanks for reading. I nominate all of my followers, and ask them the following questions:


    1. Define life.
    2. If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why?
    3. Do you believe that there is life outside of Earth?
    4. If you were to be one of three surviving people on the Earth, everyone else was dead, and you could pick who the other two were, but they weren’t allowed to be related to you, who would they be?
    5. What job would you absolutely hate to have?
    6. Which insect has the most fun?
    7. If you were involved in a public robbery, would you be: a) the robber, b) the victim who did exactly as they said, or c) the hero who caught them.
    8. How would you react to one day waking up and discovering that your entire life was a dream?
    9. Have you ever been pranked/played a prank on someone? What happened, if so?
    10. Best-sounding musical instrument?

    Thanks for reading,
    Lia 🙂

20 Questions About Me Tag

Thanks to ANewChapter for nominating me. 🙂

Are you named after anyone?

I think I was named after Lia Williams. They liked the name so took it.

When was the last time you cried?

Some days ago. Sometimes I have these meltdowns over silly things, I have had a few recently haha.

Do you have kids?

Yes, they are called Diego, Pablo, and Smiler.

If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself?

No, because hardly anyone wants to be friends with me, so I don’t think I would be any different. xD

Do you use sarcasm a lot?

Yes but generally in the way that people will not be able to tell I’m using it so I can actually not like what they’re doing but pretend I do. So you will never know the truth… 😉

What’s the first thing you notice about people?

Age, because you’re hardly going to not notice that a toddler and an elderly person are different ages.

What is your eye colour?

Blue.

Scary movie or happy ending?

Happy endings happen wayyy too often so they get kinda boring, but I don’t have anyone who likes watching scary movies with me so I can’t watch that either, but I want to. 😦

Do you have any special talents?

uhh I fail more than the average human, does that count? Hehe.

Do you have any pets?

Yes, I also mentioned them in the children part of this post. They are Diego, Pablo, and Smiler.

What is your dream career?

Writer/philosopher.

Who was your first best friend?

Her name was Holly, I went to her house quite often, we were close. Then she made a friend that she preferred so rip friendship. xD She’s now super popular.

How tall are you?

Last time I checked, I was 5’3.5 and I’ve pretty much stopped growing so I doubt I’ll get much more than that.

How many countries have you visited?

Wales (x1), France (x2), Portugal (x1), Spain (x1). I absolutely loved Portugal, except for the day when I got heat stroke and had an intense migraine; but it was still awesome. France was cool too, the time I was with my family especially. I’d love to return to either of them. I’ve never been outside of Europe though. It would be a really cool thing if one day I can leave it. Haha.

What was/is your favourite/worst subject in High School?

 My favourite was probably English. I just loved the subject. And I was also sat next to ANewChapter for most of it and that was fun. My least favourite subject was probably physics; not because I was bad at it, or because I didn’t like it that much — it was to do with the teacher! We had this lady from the Czech Republic who could not teach. My chemistry teacher kept telling us “but she has a physics degree!” — did she have a teaching degree, though? No. They were desperate for a teacher so they got her, I think. She could not teach at all. There were two pupils in our class who always misbehaved in every class so it was usual of them to, though one of them actually walked out in her class because she was such a bad teacher. After seeing those two pupils misbehave, she decided our entire class was awful, and refused to teach us anymore. We then got the same teacher as chemistry for the rest of the time. My chemistry teacher might have scared me a lot, but at least she could teach. She was very angry with our class though, and didn’t think to see it from our point of view. I actually ended up getting the higher grade in physics than biology or chemistry, in the second science GCSE. In the first science GCSE, I got a higher grade in biology. I was never good at chemistry, and never liked it either. Haha. Also, my biology teacher was kinda creepy…

What is your favourite perfume?

I don’t wear perfume. I hate it when people spray it publicly because usually it is quite strong and I end up coughing a lot. At least go do it in a toilet cubicle, so that I don’t die. Thanks.

What would you name your children?

Child A and Child B. Just kidding, I haven’t really thought about it. Nice names, though.

What sports do you play/have you played?

When I was really young, I was in a football club run by professional footballers. There was one other girl in the club; the rest were boys. I did like football for a while but then, when my confidence got knocked with bullying, I stopped doing it.

What phone do you currently use?

None. My phone is slow as heck so I stopped using it. I hope to get a new one by Christmas.

Tell us one of your bad habits!

I have a lot of bad habits. Automatically assuming the worst, procrastinating, being me, dahdah…

My nominations:

Everyone who follows me who hasn’t already done it. Go do it!