Life after antidepressants: the truth.

Book, coffee cup and white square plate with a pink doughnut

Hello, dear readers! If you have been following my blog for quite a while, you might remember my previous posts about panic attacks and depression. If not – here is a quick recap. I have been on and off antidepressants for several times since I was twelve. For quite a while I was on Zoloft which should have made me more calm and not so emotional but made me feel suicidal instead, even though I never really considered taking my own life before. Later my therapist changed my medicine and prescribed me Venlaxor which had to increase my productivity, energy level etc. I ended up feeling like a sleepy, emotionless robot instead, who could not focus on anything. In June 2017 I realized that I am done with medication, it made things worse instead of making them better, so I decided to quit. Not right away because you can not just stop taking your medication without experiencing terrible withdrawal, so I gradually decreased the amount until I finally stopped taking it. Am I proud of my decision? Yes, I have not swallowed another pill ever since. Is my life struggle free now? No. And that is what I wanted to talk about today.

Living with depression and not relying on medication is still tough. Some days seem good enough: I am spending time with my friends, laughing and enjoying the moment. On other days I feel empty, unproductive and just want to sleep, hoping that one day I will wake up but it is not how things work. Even for those, who do not suffer from depression, some days are better and some days are worse. Now, imagine, how it feels for a depressed person. Good days might be just as good but bad days are worse. Sometimes those bad days follow one after another. I can barely get out of the bed, even making myself a cup of tea seems like too much work. I would rather stay in bed and keep sleeping because that is the only activity that does not require energy and any emotion. On my bad days I feel helpless. Going grocery shopping and cooking is too much work, I would rather starve for a little longer. Going out to see my friends takes too much energy and effort. And… are they even my friends? I hate that in adult life it is normal to talk to people you call your friends just once a week or less. In my eyes that makes them turn into acquaintances. Friends are those, who are with you through good and bad times, not those, who you resist to call because you feel like such a meaningless person in their lives.

Since January of this year something terrible has been happening to me. Or I should probably say that something happened and I have been living with consequences ever since. Someone that I just started seeing and getting to know, really let me down. He lied to me about something very serious and then had the nerve to tell me he has nothing to do with it and it is all my fault. We have not talked since and I was left alone to deal with the situation. I am still dealing with it. Still feeling anxious and getting panic attacks because of it. It is the worst thing that has ever happened to me and it sucks to feel alone in this situation. I have talked to my family and few of my so-called friends but it still hurts. It feels like physical healing is way faster than the emotional one because I am still crying about it until this day. Maybe in the future I will talk about this even in depth but right now I am just not ready for this.

So I keep living: breathing, writing and trying to function like a normal human being. Sometimes I fail and sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I spend most of the day in bed with my laptop or simply sleeping. Sometimes I get out of bed, go to work, meet my friends and actually manage to be quite productive. I have not given up. As long as I am breathing, I am still trying. Sometimes I fail to take care of myself and get drunk or sleep all day but that is okay. Living without being on medication is not easier but it is worth it overall. Even if I do not write or play the guitar every day, I am still more inspired to do it than, for example, two years ago. Even if I do not feel happy every day, at least I have emotions instead of the dull, empty feeling that was caused by antidepressants. Even if all I can manage to do in a day is do my laundry, cook some pasta, shower and clean the bedside table, it is better than sleeping all day and not caring about my surroundings.

This is my recovery – it is messy, unpredictable, with its’ ups and downs but it is happening. If you are in a similar position right now, you are not alone. Stop being too hard on yourself. Stop expecting fast recovery but know that it gets better.

Love, Porcelain Doll.

 

10 red flags you should not ignore in your new workplace.

man in a suit, sitting at the table and having a phone conversation

Dear readers! My life has been kind of hectic for the past two or three weeks and the main concern of mine has been work. Before I was so worried about being unemployed that I did not realize that being employed but working in an emotionally abusive environment is worse that being unemployed. Today is the day I realize I can not tolerate it anymore and the things that have been happening to me are not normal. Why am I sharing this? Because I do not want you to go through the same unpleasant experience I went through. Learn from my mistakes. Let’s begin!

  1. You get promised unrealistic salary, comparing to average salary in the industry. In this case I am talking about waitressing. In Latvia average salary of a waitress is 590 euros, according to website algas.lv . When I saw the advertisement and went to interview, I was a little surprised that I got promised 1000 to 1500 euros monthly, if I do my job well, however, at that time some people told me that such salary might be realistic in a capital city, especially, if I work in an area which tourists visit quite often. Turns out I was wrong – most waitresses do not earn that much, especially, if they are working only 15 days a month or less. Life lesson – check average salary in the industry in your city or at least country, if possible.
  2. You start the job with no previous experience, get promised training but never receive it. It is still a mystery, why I have not received the training they promised me about two weeks ago but it is what it is. Just another shady thing in the mix.
  3. Your boss talks shit behind your and your coworkers’ back. Major red flag that I foolishly ignored at first. I thought that maybe someone is a really bad employee and deserves all the bad words that were said about them but… no. If your boss is badmouthing a certain person behind their back, she / he is probably doing the same to you.
  4. You get promised a certain work schedule that is never made or made without you having a say in it. Even though waitressing is the type of job that ignores your brother’s birthday, national celebration or something similar, schedule has to be made. If it says in the contract that next month’s schedule is made in the previous month with signed agreement of all employees and it is not, that is just another red flag. You deserve a boss, who respects your time. When you work, you are all in. When you visit your family or rest, you deserve to enjoy it instead of stressing out about being randomly called in to work.
  5. You have toxic colleagues. Waitressing is one of those jobs where teamwork is incredibly important. However, in a way it just like playing basketball – if someone in your own team sabotages or ignores you, successful teamwork is impossible. Besides – if your colleague is telling bad things about your to your boss, you are in trouble even more.
  6. Your boss is constantly criticizing you. This time I am not talking about constructive criticism which actually improves the quality of the work. I am talking about the type of critique that lowers your self-esteem, increases the level of stress and decreases your ability to work. In my case I was too stressed that I started to suffer from panic attacks again which made me incapable of doing my job as well as I could. (To know more about how it feels to live with a panic disorder, read this post.)
  7. There is no equality in workplace and rules constantly change. One day I was supposed to use the tray, another I was told not to use it. One day I was supposed to answer to phone calls, on another it was forbidden to do so. My colleague can do whatever she wants, break as many glasses as she wishes, be clumsy, slow and fuck up stuff, and get away with it but as soon as I make a mistake, I am repeatedly told, how much I suck at this job.
  8. Your boss and/or your colleagues do not want to help you, if you do not understand or can not find something. For fuck’s sake… Do you want me to succeed at this job or make a fool out of myself? Without any previous experience I am doing the last one because you deny your help whenever I need it. So what, if it is my fifth day at work and I can not find toothpicks? Be a decent person and help me, instead of looking down on me.
  9. Employees change often. If it is not even your second week yet and you have seen more than one person leaving and new, naive people coming in place, it is a bad sign. Even worse, if the place you work for a looking for employees for months but can not  find dedicated ones.
  10. Your boss is never open for new ideas. “We have always done it this way and that is it. Changing something is not necessary and will not work.” It does not matter that at some point you are excited to make improvements in your job, you are too young and dumb to offer valuable ideas.

I could probably dig up some more red flags that are quite common not only in my workplace but also in many others but I will not. Let’s stop here. The next thing that I have to do today is take a nap and then go to the city centre to quit the damn job. I have pride, I know my worth and I will not let anyone make me feel like I am less than. And neither should you. If you have noticed more than one of these red flags in your own workplace, I would suggest you to reconsider working there. If you are putting all your time, energy and effort into work and it still is quite bad, quit it. Your mental and physical health is something valuable and no amount of money can buy it back once it is damaged. Take care!

Love, Porcelain Doll.

5 simple yet awesome summer date ideas to try.

a silhouette of a couple at the beach during sunset

Hello, dear readers! I am writing this blog post in the afternoon of Wednesday and maybe you have started wondering, what has occupied my mind so much that I can focus on anything else, not even sleeping. I would not call it love just yet but… at the beginning of July I met someone and we have been seeing each other ever since. Our first date lasted for 24 hours, we never run out of topics to talk about and the more I spend time with him, the more I want to see him again. Hanging out with him seems completely natural and I have never felt so comfortable with a guy ever before. I do not have to stress about every sentence that I say or that I am bothering him by texting first, or that he might be repulsed, if I ever forget to shave my legs. Surprisingly we have started this lovely, no-bullshit relationship, things are going very well and I decided to share some of my favorite date ideas we have made come true or plan to do so very soon.

  1. Cooking each other’s favorite foods for each other for dinner. Super simple yet lovely. For some random reason I, who does not like to cook all by myself, enjoy working as a team and cooking together. I love observing, how good we can work together and find compromises.
  2. Going out to a club. Okay, this might not be for everyone because most people prefer to go clubbing with their friends. I, however, do not like weird dudes hitting on me, so I am bringing my own guy with me for two reasons – I always have someone to dance with, who will not ditch me for someone else and I feel safe.
  3. Going on a road trip to another city, perhaps even abroad. This is something we have not done yet but plan to do in near future, so I am very excited already. What is even more fun – we are planning to bring his best friend with his girlfriend along, too. So that mixes this date idea and the next one I am planning to mention into one.
  4. Any kind of double date. I think, we accidentally had one when my friends called me last minute and I had to change my plans for them but I did not want to leave my boyfriend hanging. I figured out that it might be fun to bring him along and turns out that was a great idea because my friends really liked him, too.
  5. Movie night. Do not even argue – nothing beats same old movie night at home. You do not have to pay a way too much money for tickets, you can bring your own snacks and cuddle while enjoying the film. Side note – this can be combined with no 1 and/or no 4.
  6. Bonus idea: Go to the beach. I bet you did not expect to see more than 5 date ideas but… surprise! This one is no brainer but it is way more fun than doing it alone. And, knowing me, I do not go to beach alone, like, ever and have a weird habit of procrastinating on doing things because “ah, I have other stuff to do and this one will not be that fun anyways”.

Anyways, I am ending this list here because my thoughts are drifting away to other stuff and I am few scrolls away from falling down the rabbit hole of Pinterest because looking for new date ideas can be addicting. Hopefully any of these ideas will be useful for you. If not and you are single – keep hoping that your future partner is somewhere out there, waiting for you. I already thought that I have been betrayed so much that I will not be able to open my heart for someone ever again but here I am. I have actually met someone, who likes me for who I am and treats me like a real guy should treat a girl. I am sending positive vibes your way and until next time on Dolls Have Hearts!

Love, Porcelain Doll.

Dear grandma… This one’s for you.

A stack of letters, tied with a ribbon, handwritten letter and a photo.

Hello, dear readers! I decided to add a little introduction before posting the letter itself. Life has gotten more interesting during these days and that’s the reason why I am writing this post about nine hours before publishing. Don’t get me wrong – I am fully dedicated to blogging but I have always been a master procrastinator and… when I start falling in love, everything else just kind of disappears. Anyways, let’s fast forward to the actual letter.

“Dear grandma… It’s been a while since we talked. Well, if I don’t count in all the times I thought about you and sent my thoughts your way. I don’t believe that all the dead relatives are somewhere up there, sitting on a cloud and looking down to me. Not anymore. But I believe there’s a tiny part of you everywhere I go and I will always remember you. I think of you when a nice old lady helps me to find a way home when I am lost, I think of you when I see wild tulips and when I pass the remains of an old greenhouse in our garden. It is not possible to forget you because in a way you were my hero and for some reason – the closest family member, even though we didn’t meet every day or even every week.

You died when I was just a kid and kids live carelessly – they don’t really appreciate what they have until it’s gone. I still remember the day I was walking home with my friend and told her that you are in the hospital. I never thought it’s that serious. I thought you would spend some time there, then go back home and just go on with your life but… you didn’t. One of the times I visited you with my parents will be forever engrained in my mind. You told me few simple but memorable words: “Always be proud of yourself.” However, my mother at that moment felt the need to add unnecessary comment that I already have way too much pride. It annoyed me at that time because the moment was supposed to be special. Those were the last words I remember that were dedicated to me and they always be meaningful.

Now, when I look back at everything that happened to me since you left, I can say that it was a wild ride. Nevertheless, more often I wonder, if you would be proud of me not if I would be proud of myself. I haven’t been the straight A student but I have tried my best. I didn’t wait until after the marriage to lose my virginity but I lost it with someone I loved. I didn’t turn out to be super polite girl, who never cause any trouble but I turned out to be a little shameless and very passionate person instead. Regardless of ups and downs in my life, I still strive to be better version of myself. There are times when I stop progressing but soon after I am back on the road again. Too much has happened to tell it all.

Even though the loss of you made me feel sad and empty for a while, and wish I had been a better granddaughter, it has also made me realize something. Some good people in my life will stay for a long period of time and some – for a short period of time. Regardless of the time period, I should appreciate every good person in my life and enjoy the time with them that I have been given. Stuff happens – sometimes people slowly and painfully fall apart, sometimes they die, sometimes they just vanish from my life with no explanation and I am facing a choice. I can stay sad for the rest of my life or I can feel thankful that I had a chance to spend time with them and keep living.

So thank you for the nine years I had a chance to know you. Thank you for always being on my side and being proud of me when I couldn’t really be proud of myself. I will always wish we had more time to spend together and more chances to talk about the things we haven’t talked about.

Rest in peace, you will always be remembered.”

Back to you, my dear readers. It was a pleasure to share something personal with you and I look forward to sharing more similar posts with you in the future. Until next time on Dolls Have Hearts!

P.S. Oh, I almost forgot! I finally have a job. It is a part-time waitressing job but that still counts. 🙂

Love, Porcelain Doll.

5 things to do when you’ve hit the rock bottom.

Brunette in a brown coat and brown knitted hat, looking away from the camera.

Hello, dear readers! Growing up feels a lot like leveling up in a certain game – challenges get harder with every level. In some days you feel like you have it all figured out and you know, how to “play this game” but at some you feel like you are failing completely. Maybe you just got broken up with, fired, manipulated, lied to, lost your best friend, lost the money, got cheated on, faced sudden and serious health problems – whatever it is, sometimes it feels like you have reached the rock bottom and there is no going back. However, if you are in that mindset right now, I’m here to help you to dig yourself out of that hole. There is a way out and it’s only too late when you’re dead. Here are five things you can do when it feels like you’re in an incredibly bad situation and it feels like it won’t ever get better.

  1. Cry it out and pour a glass of wine. Bottling up emotions has never done anything good, so let it all out. You can ask for a friend to come over. Wine is optional but sometimes it helps to get your thoughts out, feel good and relax.
  2. Realize what makes you upset, what caused this unpleasant situation and figure out, if you can do something about it. For example, you just found out you have an STD. What caused it? This time it was a dishonest partner, who you really trusted. Did you had “the talk” before you decided to have sex with them? You did. How could you knew that they weren’t honest with you? You couldn’t. What can you do? Get a treatment, if there is one and talk to your partner about it. What if there is no treatment? You do your research on how to live with it and connect with other people, who are in the same situation as you are to receive some emotional support. What if your partner denies everything, puts the blame on you or simply vanishes? As painful as it is – you have learned the lesson that it is not the type of person you want to be with. You can’t return to the past and change what happened then but you can figure out all the ways you can make your future better. Remember: you are not defined by the mistakes you made.
  3. Accept the fact that healing takes time and be gentle to yourself. It’s okay to make mistakes and no one is perfect. Everyone in this world has screwed up some way. Most people have learned from their mistakes and moved on. For some moving on is easier, for some harder but it is possible. Be gentle to yourself, putting blame on yourself doesn’t help to change the past, even more – it ruins the future, if you keep living with this negative vibe forever.
  4. Dry your tears and brainstorm for ways on how to get better. The fact that you have been in an abusive relationship, doesn’t mean that every future relationship you have will be the same or that you won’t be able to be in a relationship at all. The fact that you have went to ten job interviews and got denied on every single one doesn’t mean that you will never get a job that you like. Usually you have to reach the rock bottom to see the light at the end of the tunnel soon afterwards. Sometimes good things happen when you least expect them, so keep trying.
  5. Take the next step. It’s not easy to go on with your life after a huge downfall but that’s the way life is – ups and downs are inevitable. However, looking from the bright side – if you would never experience any rock bottoms, you would never know, how good it feels to reach the top. Also, the problems that we face, the mistakes that we learn from – it all makes us stronger at the end. Practice doesn’t make us perfect but it definitely makes us better. Life is like an improvisation – you might not know what is going to happen next but you can learn to adapt to different situations and get back up faster, when you fall down.

That’s it for today’s blog post on Dolls Have Hearts. Wish me luck on finding a great summer job and I’ll see you next week when hopefully I will be already employed.

Love, Porcelain Doll.

6 current obsessions: from movies to books.

notebook, flower and a pen

Hello, dear readers! It’s currently Tuesday evening as I am writing this because last week was very… eventful. I’ve moved to a different city, got another tattoo and am walking from one job interview to another, trying to decide which one to take. At first I was panicking, wondering, who would ever want to hire me and then – bam! – I have had eight job interviews already. I think, I won’t go to any more and just take my pick now.  But enough about the life update, it’s time to share another lovely post with you which today will be 6 things that I have been obsessed with in the first half of 2018. I know that a lot of other bloggers share monthly favorites but, honestly, my taste doesn’t change that often and, considering the fact that I post about 4 posts every month, I would rather share more of other things. However, this time I decided to share 6 things I loved this year so far. Enjoy!

  1. Movie “American satan”. Since I discovered it in early January, this has been one of my favorite movies ever. I have watched it several times and every time I watch it, it still is exciting. And no, it’s not only because of Andy Biersack although he looks handsome. The reason why I love this movie is the plot and amazing soundtracks, who are performed by the band Palaye Royale (even though movie presents the as songs by fictional band The Relentless). If you are into rock music, a little edgy movies or you simply like Andy Biersack and Black Veil Brides, you will love this movie.
  2. Band “Mother mother”. I don’t remember when exactly in 2018 I discovered this band but I definitely think they are underrated and deserve more attention. If you don’t know where to start, I would suggest to listen to their latest album “No culture” first. My personal favorites from it are “Love stuck”, “The drugs”, “Mouth of the devil”, “No culture” and “Family”.
  3. TV series “Dynasty”. When I first saw the trailer, I didn’t think that TV series about spoiled rich people would be my thing but after two or three episodes I became addicted. At first Elizabeth Gillies caught my eye but then I actually stayed for the intriguing plot. Sadly waiting for season 2 is a real struggle. However, give “Dynasty” a try!
  4. Youtuber Muchelleb. At some point you have probably heard me mentioning inspiring youtuber Kalyn Nicholson, who posts videos about planning, organizing and basically getting few steps closer to your dream life. Muchelleb posts kind of similar content but isn’t as well-known, so I decided to give this girl a little shout out. I have started watching her channel at the beginning of this year and I still love it, especially videos about minimalism.
  5. Musician Barns Courtney. My latest and probably biggest music related obsession that I stumbled across sometime in May. He falls under folk pop and blues rock genres and his music is the closest to some music ideal in my head. The guitar in every song and the mix of folk and rock vibes just makes it sound a little dark but empowering at the same time. I am still at the process of discovering his music but so far my favorite songs are “Kicks”, “Golden dandelions” and “Champion”.
  6. Book “99 francs (14,99 euros)” by Frederic Beigbeder. If you know me, you are probably aware that for a while my favorite writer has been Frederic Beigbeder. When it comes to music, movies, books or any art form, I love a lot of shocking, dark and weird stuff. “99 francs” is one of those books that most people would consider weird, even shocking and disgusting but it also includes a lot of interesting and deep thoughts, and unusual but great humor.

I will end this list here and a little early because I simply lack time to write longer post at the moment, however, it is my pleasure to share a little bit more of my thoughts every week. Thank you for reading and until next time on Dolls Have Hearts!

Love, Porcelain Doll.

Leaving the closet: a confession of a bisexual. #PrideMonth

hands of a woman on the laptop keyboard and a white cup of tea on the table beside her

Hello, dear readers! This is probably the most exciting and nerve wrecking post I have ever written on my blog, so it explains why I am publishing in the evening of Wednesday but I just thought…. it’s time. If you didn’t already know that, June is Pride Month where people of different sexualities are celebrating simply being their true selves. If you are straight, there’s a big chance you feel like LGBT+ community is just shoving all the ways they are different down your throat. Maybe you are upset because heterosexuals aren’t celebrating their sexuality the same way. But… why should they? Being straight is like a default setting. You don’t have to come out to your friends and/or family, you don’t have to hide that you have a crush on someone as an adult because that counts as “normal”.

So, I am not going to stretch out the intro of this post any longer and will just say what I wanted to say. I am bisexual and I am fully comfortable with it. I like guys and girls the same way which, however, doesn’t mean that I like both genders equally. If you are a bisexual as well, you will know that this can fluctuate. At some point you might like guys more, at some point – girls, at some point both of these genders equally. Before I get into my own personal story, I will just clear out few more stereotypes out of the way, so we can continue this conversation in a non-judgemental atmosphere.

  • “Bisexuals are just greedy, they want to have “the best of both worlds”. I bet you didn’t expect this to be coming but there are actually a lot of monogamous bisexuals out there, some of them are even happily married.
  • “But if you date the same-sex partner right now, you must be homosexual or if you have a partner of opposite gender, you are straight.” Wrong. Sexuality is about who you can experience romantic and/or sexual attraction towards to, not who you date at the moment.
  • “Bisexual people most likely have crushes on their same-sex friends.” This is something that I have noticed in girl friendships – there are some straight girls, who are just attached to the idea that if I am bisexual, I have a crush on them. No, just no. Please, get over yourself. If a straight girls has a bunch of guy friends, do you think she has a crush on most or all of them? I don’t think so.
  • “All bisexuals must love the idea of a threesome.” Ummm, no. Don’t assume that we are interested in that way more than people with different sexual orientations. A lot of us put love first and are not up to crazy sexual experiments just because we can experience sexual attraction towards both genders.
  • “You are gay but just won’t admit it.” Although some homosexuals for certain reasons pretend to be bisexual for a while, it doesn’t mean that all bisexual people are secretly gay.

And now, when I have cleared some of the most annoying myths about bisexuality, we can get to my story. Growing up I felt pretty much like a typical straight girl. I remember watching romantic movies with my mum, cringing a lot but still picturing in my head that one day I will meet my Prince Charming with dark hair, piercing blue eyes and cute dimples in his cheeks. To make it even more cliché, I imagined him in an expensive suit and having great manners. Little did I know that this fantasy is way too far from the reality and most men in the world just don’t suit this ideal male version I created in my head. However, when I was a kid there was no doubt that my ideal partner could be anything but a man.

During my teen years some barely noticeable clues popped up here and there but I didn’t think too much of it. Every now and then my eyes lingered a little longer on attractive guys as well as girls but that was it. I still kissed only boys and first person I fell in love with and had sort of relationship with was a guy. Until one time about a year ago when I developed a huge crush on a woman and the way I felt was no different from having a crush on a guy felt. I still experienced a whole rollercoaster of emotions – from warm happiness that was caused by interesting conversations we had to sadness and confusion which made me cry in my pillow cause I didn’t know, how to tell her, how I feel. I will not get into details on who she is and how we met cause, like she said when I finally confessed to my feelings, my crush is more about me than her. Even though our feelings weren’t mutual, I was glad that we didn’t cut off contact completely and I’m simply thankful for this experience in general. If life is all about self discovery, then at that point I discovered something new about myself.

Enough time has passed for me to accept this part of myself and now I feel confident enough to share it with the world. I have shared this with people, who are the closest to me and I’m lucky that most of them are completely accepting. I may not participate in Pride yet but speaking about this on my blog is one of the first steps towards accepting another part of me. Another reason why I am sharing this is to inspire you to embrace yourself, no matter who you are. Sexuality is something natural and beautiful that no one should be ashamed about. Don’t listen to anyone, who says that there is something wrong with you, if you are not straight. Love is love and love between two men or two women can be as beautiful and pure as love between a man and a woman. Also, we live in 21st century and there are so many shamelessly proud examples from LGBT+ community between celebrities, such as Halsey, Shailene Woodley, Megan Fox, Nico Tortorella, Sia, Lady GaGa, Alan Cumming and many more. Be proud of who you are. If you feel the need to come out and it’s safe – do it! If not, it’s fine and you are still as valid as everyone else, who is already “out of the closet”.

I will end this post here but you can definitely expect more LGBT+ related posts on my blog in the future. Happy Pride Month (or what’s left of it) and I will see you next time on Dolls Have Hearts!

Love, Porcelain Doll.