9 Signs That My Mental Health Is Going Tits Up

Being a human on this planet, whilst fascinating, beautiful and ultimately a privilege, can also be a complete headfuck.

The world these days is absolutely mental and, due to the evolution of modern mass media, it is pretty much impossible to shield yourself from the seemingly incessant stream of bollocks going on.  

Every now and then, my brain decides to deal with this near constant influx of random crap by casually imploding in on itself and ceasing to function like a normal human thinking machine.

Over the years, I have become quite adept at noticing the signs that I am going down a mental health hole which I have narrowed down in this blog post because expressing this stuff is supposed to be cathartic and that right?

1. Making completely unaffordable travel plans

Whether the cause of my mental health blip is situational or a surprise ‘oh I am randomly not functioning’ sneak attack, my first gut instinct when I start to feel the beginnings of the big sad is to run away from everything and everyone.

As a result, I will often find myself manically researching holidays in a fit of unregulated escapism with absolutely no regard for my bank balance or personal safety.

I guess I am operating under the rational that being on an extreme adventure holiday in the arctic circle will momentarily distract me from the intensity of my thoughts and emotions, even if I am living under the vague threat of a polar bear attack…

2. Weird eating patterns

The next sign of a lapse in my mental stability is a complete collapse in the stability of my eating schedule.

What my brain considers to be an adequate source of sustenance during these periods suddenly becomes incredibly dubious.

Often the notion of three healthy meals a day will completely disintegrate and I will find myself randomly eating the most immediately accessible food at whatever time my body decides it should probably ingest some calories.

Honestly, eating Cheerios dry out the packet at 1am when I am in fact the complete antithesis of cheery is a real vibe…

3. Impulsively buying shit online

One of the main ways in which I monitor the state of my mental health is by keeping track of how much random shit I’m buying off Amazon.

If I’ve got over five functionally useless items in my basket, I know it’s time to get concerned. If we hit double figures, it’s crisis point – like, I’m only one impulse buy of a make your own bath bomb set away from a complete mental collapse.

I’m not sure why I experience this impulse to buy copious amounts of useless shite as I am normally not a particularly materialistic person. I guess part of me thinks that if I accumulate enough random objects it will eventually fill the insatiable chasm in my soul. Or maybe rock salt lamps are just chill and pretty and that. Who knows…

4. Getting trapped in existential thought spirals

Another sign that I am tits deep in the mental health bollocks is a complete loss in my capacity to lift myself out of meandering thought patterns.  

The tiniest thing can send me spiraling into a pit of existential angst and leave me contemplating the very nature of existence.

Ironically, during big sad times, my brain becomes completely numb to big life issues and instead decides to grapple intensely with insignificant concepts which is always a wild ride.

5. Crying over illogical things

My emotional system will also be irrationally sensitive during a flare up of the big sad.

It doesn’t really matter what emotional input my brain is experiencing, every single thing will go into the emotional processing machine and come out the other end twenty-billion times more intense than it should be.

As a result, any kind of remotely sad/ happy/ frustrating/ cute input into my system will immediately translate into OK SO APPARENTLY WE ARE CRYING NOW which is always a good look.

6. Having deep introspective chats with the dog

I live with two dogs, both of whom absorb the brunt of my emotional and existential chaos.

Something about the simplicity of a dog’s priorities is incredibly comforting and grounding when you are feeling the full brunt of your human brain.

As a result, I will often spend extended periods of time stroking their fur and telling them about my inherent self-destructive tendencies and the pitfalls of my ego etc. whilst they look up at me with a simultaneous sense of complete understanding and total bafflement.

7. Malfunctioning in social situations

I am not particularly good at the performative aspects of social interaction at the best of times.

However, when my brain is functional state, it is usually able to flick through a rolodex of socially acceptable responses and select an appropriate one for the type of conversation I am engaging in.

However, when I am going through a mental health flare, the complete overwhelm in my brain will cause a glitch in the system and the rolodex will start to spit out random responses regardless of the context of the situation which can be awkward and confusing for all parties involved.

8. Apologising excessively to everything and everyone

During a mental health flare, I will also become irrationally convinced that my existence is inconvenient to everyone and everything which logically I know is not true but for some reason is suddenly a completely compelling narrative for my big sad brain to believe.

This particularly stupid side effect manifests itself in a myriad of different ways.

Sometimes, it will involve me saying sorry to to someone after they bump into me and then proceeding to say sorry for having said sorry when they tell me it was ridiculous for me to have said sorry in the first place.

Other times, I will find myself on my knees, weeping whilst cradling the withered form of my dead house plant, beseeching my failures as a mother. Honestly so random guys!

9. Regressing to sentient flesh lump status

Over the years, I have developed an elaborate network of coping mechanisms to prevent the big sad crazy depresso times from developing in my brain.

However, whilst you can put measures in place to stop yourself going down the hole, there is not a massive amount you can do once you are there.

All you can really do be present with yourself as you are, embrace the concious flesh lump vibes you’ve got going on and know that eventually the big sad will fuck off into the ether and you will feel like a slightly less deranged version of yourself again.

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2020: A Review

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that 2020 has been the weirdest, craziest, scariest, most existentially-challenging, emotionally-draining year of my life.

A lot of bad things have happened and, at times, whilst caught in a Matrix-style existential mindset, I’ve become convinced that I’ve probably been living in an unpublished Lemony Snicket novel without being aware of it.

I mean, at least the Baudelaire kids were allowed to move between households…

The whole year has felt like an extension of that strange period between Christmas and New Year when you lose all track of time and end up eating an excessive amount of chocolate whilst engaging in a nostalgic Julie Andrews movie marathon because you’ve forgotten your purpose in life, there’s nothing else to do and at least Julie seems happy about things.

It takes one crazy year to mess with both the foundations of society and the concept time itself and it’s a bit weird to think that it’s coming to an end, almost like stepping out of some surreal alternate reality.

Months, weeks and days have melded into one another and become one long unstructured mass of time and, looking back, it’s hard to believe that I’ve achieved anything or done anything significant.

As a result, I thought it would be useful to write a post to remind myself that I have done some things this year, aside from of sitting on a sofa in my oldest tattiest hoody, staring into the existential abyss whilst stoically making my way through a family size bag of Doritos.


  1. Survived 365 surreal, weird, stressful 2020 days.

2. Watched several of Boris Johnson’s ‘addressing the nation’ speeches and only considered punching the TV once or twice (exhibiting considerable emotional control).

3. Recovered from a spiraling Amazon addiction after realising that buying loads of things to help with stress (candles, incense sticks, meditation journals etc.) was only making me more stressed about the state of the high street and also the state of my bank account.

4. Managed to keep in touch with most of my friends, despite being confronted with my own face on Zoom more than I would have liked.

5. Didn’t shave my legs for the entirety of Lockdown 1.0.

6. Didn’t wear a bra for the entirety of Lockdown 1.0.

7. Briefly considered wearing a bra when going to the supermarket…

8. … and then didn’t (I’m sure that’s feminism or something… and by ‘something’ I mean extreme laziness).

9. Became closer to nature by taking lots of relaxing walks in the park.

10. Became closer to my dogs by taking several distinctly less relaxing walks in the park.

Swan was angered when Jessie made a unconsidered attempt chase it in what was potentially the most terrifying moment of my life to date.

11. Ran out of perfume and avoided buying more from Amazon by discovering a cheaper alternative.

12. Learnt to juggle (3 balls, not general life responsibilities)

13. Shaved my brother’s head and briefly considered becoming a barber. #RethinkReskillReboot

14. Resisted a sudden impulsive urge to shave my own head whilst bored and looking for something to do.

15. Briefly tried to eat more healthily to counter an increased amount of sedentary sofa time but then decided that it was a difficult time and I deserved to treat myself.

16. Did yoga like 10 times and only broke one item of furniture in the process.

17. Discovered a brand new way of burning calories.

18. Discovered a new comeback that has proved useful for whenever I get yelled at by groups of youths in the street.

19. Got bored and built a really tall tower out of used toilet rolls.

I mean, it looked a little bit like the Leaning Tower of Pisa before it fell on top of me so it was basically like being on holiday.

20. Took up mindfulness and meditation and stuck with it even though my body seemed intent on conspiring against me.

21. Survived several mental breakdowns.

23. Had more time to write and draw (it may have been an awful year but at least I’ve got a few decent cartoons out of it!)

All in all, I may have entered 2020 with a fresh rush of energy and a resolve to strive to become the best version of myself that I possibly could be. And I may now be ending it by dragging a significantly less impressive version of myself towards the finish line.

But, all things considered, I reckon that is the biggest achievement I could have hoped for.

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How To Make The Most Out Of A Coffee Loyalty Card.

Like most people, I enjoy buying hot drinks from coffee shops.

However, recently, I have been trying to cut down on the amount of money I am spending on a daily basis.

In an average coffee shop, a medium latte costs around £2.75 which on its own doesn’t seem that expensive.

However, if you buy one latte every day for a year, then it all adds up to an amount that I can’t figure out right now because maths is hard – but it’s probably quite a lot.

Therefore, in an attempt to save a bit of money in coffee shops, I have started using loyalty cards.

Every time I go into a coffee shop and buy a drink, I get a stamp on my loyalty card and, once I have collected six stamps, I am allowed a free coffee as a reward for my unwavering dedication.

I have been using loyalty cards for a while now and have figured out a way to ensure that I am using them as effectively as possible.


Unfortunately, I am getting slightly addicted to the feeling of satisfaction and achievement that completing a loyalty card induces.

As a result, I am probably going to coffee shops more often than I would have previously.

Sometimes, I have several loyalty cards for various different coffee shops on the go at once which I’m pretty sure completely undermines the concept of loyalty.

Therefore, although saving £3.45 on an extra large mint hot chocolate with marshmallows makes me feel like a savvy supersaver, the fact that I have previously spent just under £5 on overpriced tea in order to obtain it probably suggests otherwise.

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Popcorn Is The Most Moreish Substance Known To Man.

Whenever I go to the cinema, I buy popcorn in the assumption that I will eat it steadily over the course of the entire movie.

However, once the first piece of popcorn touches my lips, all semblance of self-control disintegrates and I start to make my way through the bucket as if it is the first food that I have had after being lost in the wilderness for an extended period of time.

Popcorn is quite consistent in its flavour and texture so around a quarter of the way down the bucket, I tend to get a bit bored.

After a while, I get to a stage where I’m not really enjoying the taste of the popcorn enough to justify the number of calories I am taking on by eating it.

However, by this point, it is too late.

My hand is set in an unbreakable, mechanical rhythm and I cannot stop it from shoving handfuls of popcorn into my mouth, against the wishes of the rest of my body.

Eventually, I reach the stage where I am no longer eating out of hunger or enjoyment.

Instead, my desire to consume the popcorn is fuelled purely by a guilty obligation to finish the entire bucket in order to justify the hole in my bank account that I carved out when I bought it.

By the time the film actually starts, I have completely exhausted my supply of popcorn and am left with nothing but regret and the knowledge that I have paid about £100000 to have kernels permanently engrained in my teeth.


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The World Is A Harsh Place Full Of Unfortunate Baking Incidents.

A few weeks ago, whilst I was watching the Great British Bake Off, I decided that I wanted to become a baker so I impulse bought a guidebook called ‘The Ultimate Guide To Baking’ in the assumption that it would instantly transform me into the next Mary Berry.

‘The Ultimate Guide To Baking’ is full of images of expertly constructed, pristinely decorated cakes.

Each image is accompanied by a set of instructions which are arranged in a series of ‘simple steps’.

In theory, following these simple steps will enable you to accurately replicate the cake in the book.

The problem with guidebooks is that they tend to be written by extremely talented people who have spent years honing their craft.

Therefore, what may seem like a ‘simple step’ to them, is actually quite challenging for the average person.

In addition, each ‘simple step’ is linked within a co-dependant chain of other simple steps so, in order to successfully replicate the image in the book, it is necessary to follow every single simple step correctly.

If you mess up one simple step, it directly affects all the other steps and the entire thing collapses – like a game of ‘simple step’ jenga.

I first learnt that simple steps aren’t as simple as they seem when I decided to learn to draw as a child and made the mistake of believing that a ‘Drawing Made Easy’ guidebook would transform me into a skilled and masterful artist.


It turns out that 23 year old me can’t cope with simple steps either…

baking_LI (2)

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to check out some of my other posts. For more blog posts and drawings, you can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram.