Absent Friend

I know once I put this down in words, it will make the absence real

But I can’t continue on this way without explaining how I feel

Sitting with this void between us is the last place I want to be

But I don’t feel like you’re still you and I don’t feel like I’m still me

We used to finish each other’s sentences, construct each other’s thoughts

But when I try to get to know you now, it’s like I don’t know you at all

Now you’re dishonest and from that grows mistrust

I don’t think there is a way to get me and you back to being an us

I protected you from the whispers of lips covered by shielding hands

You listened when other ears were too deaf to understand

I taught you to be smarter when naivety made you the fool

You dried my tears when lost love made me cry a heartbreak pool

A strong connection cherished by each one of our hearts

Connected like branches on a tree but like those branches we now grow apart

I have tried to forgive and forget things, but it’s time to walk away

But the memory of friendship unbroken is the thing that makes me stay.

There will always be a love between us, because of the value we’ve placed on our bond

But our relationship can’t be fixed, it isn’t broken, it’s just gone.

Fear Falters Progress

I had a lot of reservations about starting my blog. Especially about the content. I was about to reveal so many personal aspects of my life. Certain elements that a lot of my close friends and family don’t know about me. There are thoughts and feelings that I have kept under close guard for so long that I wasn’t sure what they’d look like when they got out. The day I decided to write about my battles with mental health, was the day I realised that mental health issues are empowered by fear. Mental health is seen as a taboo subject that everyone is too scared to talk about. The longer we remain scared to talk about it, the stronger it becomes. The sufferer has a fear of not being understood and everyone else either has a fear of not understanding or a fear of not knowing how to understand. For as long as we are afraid to talk about it, the incapacitating effects of mental health problems retain their power. We can’t move on and learn how to solve the problems. The fear of the issue falters the ability to progress past it.

Aveda, Always.

When I was a child I had an obsession with red hair. I wanted to be Ariel from The Little Mermaid. I wanted to be Harmony from The Queen’s Nose. I wanted a flowing vibrant mane made of wild fire.

As I got older I realised that was never going to happen. I’m black, these invented characters were white. I had unattainable aspirations so I learnt to take care of what I had as best as I could. I tried a plethora of hair care hair care brands in the hopes of cultivating a lustrous mane and got entangled in the web of hair extensions dyes and heat styling which collectively have all caused some damage along the way.

For a few years I have been following Mo Knows Hair on Youtube and social media and have watched her journey with Aveda. At the end of 2016 I decided to try Aveda and bought the shampoo, conditioner and repair cream from the Damage Remedy line, along with the smooth infusion naturally straight lotion. I hoped I could undo some of the problems caused by experimenting so much with my hair. On New Year’s Eve 2016, I cut my shoulder length natural hair into a bob myself, on impulse, as a last ditch attempt to revive my mane. After cutting, I used my new products on my new do, washing, conditioning, blow-drying and straightening my hair into my new style.

It was like new life had been breathed into my strands and my hair smelled wonderfully fragrant. It was soft and silky and frizz free. It stayed straight for about a week, when usually I get a maximum of 5 days at a push from straight hair. I washed my hair later that week using the Damage Remedy line again, skeptical about whether my curls would return. They did and they wasn’t any additional damage. In fact they were more defined, shinier and bouncier.

I have continued to use Aveda over the last 4 months and have noticed a difference in the thickness strength and growth rate of my hair. Since my initial purchase I have added the Damage Remedy intensive mask to my hair care regime and have bought some products from the Be Curly range, which I am yet to try. I am a product junkie so am also curious to experience the Invati line also.

Whatever I decide to use next, I know it will only be Aveda and am going to incorporate some of the styling products into my hair care regime in order for it to be exclusively Aveda. My hair is on a the way to be healthy, strong and long, even if I’m not be able to have flowing locks of fire.

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April Skincare Faves

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The Ordinary Hylauronic Acid

I have oily skin. Problematic skin at best, so I use all sort of potions to combat my skin issues. My skincare regimen hasn’t really changed in the last 6 months, but i have found that since using this product for the last month or so, it has improved the plumpness and elasticity of my skin. Hylauronic acid is a humectant that holds moisture so used under serums and creams, grasps onto the moisture in those products and continues to infuse that into you skin. Initially bought as an impulse purchase from ASOS, I will be repurchasing and adding other The Ordinary products to my regimen.

The Body Shop Skin Defence Multi Protection Essence

Finally! A high SPF sun protectant for the face that doesn’t leave a white film have a greasy texture or cost the earth. This super light formula absorbs into the skin like milk and doesn’t clog my pores. Light enough to use under makeup, I wear this every day as my main face moisturiser

Nip + Fab Glycolic Scrub Fix

The first time I used this scrub, I instantly noticed how smooth and silky my skin was. I used it initially at night and the next day my skin was glowing and my makeup went on like a dream. Glycolic Acid is an exfoliator in it’s own right so the presence of the little beads in the scrub give it an extra boost. I don’t like the idea of an exfoliator when I can’t actually feel the beads doing something so i liked using this power scrub which did the job of getting my skin extra smooth and clean without it feeling sore and abraded.

Rain Makes Things Grow

I had a list of things I wanted to achieve by the time I was 21. When that didn’t work out, I decided I was going to achieve them by the time I was 25. Now that I’m 26, some of those things seem further off than ever and its difficult not to feel like a failure. I can see everyone around me appearing to have their lives together and I feel like I am being left behind.

In an age of technology and social media, it’s very easy to gain immediate access to the lives of others and make comparisons with our own lives. I see perfect people with their perfect lives and wonder why I haven’t been able to achieve my own goals.

I have suffered with depression and social anxiety since I was 10 years old. For most of my life it went undiagnosed and there were days when I just wanted to give up, disappear and stop trying. There still are. It used to feel like a storm was coming. The sun would disappear, the atmosphere would go cold and I could feel the clouds creeping over me, ready to bring the rain.

After counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy, I have learnt to combat a lot of my insecurities, self-doubt and a lack of self-acceptance. I have come to appreciate that every unhappy period has been a lesson which is all part of the process. Now, each time I feel down, I force myself to remember that there is a lesson to be learnt in each negative moment and that lesson can be used to beat the next cloud that passes over.

I have stopped spending so much time trying to redo the past and am learning to focus on the future and the next steps in the process. I focus on implementing the lessons I have learnt and use them to ensure that every thought is positive and significant in order to make every action valuable. I still can’t stop the storms from coming but instead of ducking for cover and hiding inside, I put on my proverbial rain mac and wellies and face them head on. I embrace the rain like we’re old friends, ready to take on everything it has to offer. After all, rain makes things grow.

 

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