Thursday, 23 July 2015

Optometry of a Photograph: Instagram, Makeup, and Bipolarity

Hi Guys,

so lets talk Instagram. Some of you may know that I post makeup pictures on Instagram, under the name 'nushinspacemakeup'. In fact I post something new almost, if not every, day. You'd be surprised how many thousands of other people do so as well. And yes, that is my new hair colour, lol, I got bored with the blonde so I ombre-purpled it. Anyway, Instagram. It's a treacherous place to be. You're putting yourself and your work out there for basically complete strangers to judge and sneer at.
Now why the picture above for today's post, well i'll tell you. It's a makeup look I created and posted today after i'd been to the hospital and undergone my .... 16th? 17th? ECT. They've taken the quantifiable threshold off the table. I amuse and awe my fellow patients with all the makeup (and hair) shenanigans I keep pulling, and that makes me feel good. There is a Sikh lady .... maybe in her 70s, who undergoes ECTs with me, and she spends the time beforehand just crying her heart out and constantly going to the bathroom and needing a nurse to hold her hand because she is just that afraid. So I rocked up with this do, and my red-heavy makeup, and all of a sudden she's smiling and asking me about what I did and how and when and etc- she went into the operating theater smiling. Now THAT made me feel good.
So I post the picture above to Instagram, and someone says:
 "you really need to learn to do makeup. your makeup is awful. I really hope you don't leave the house looking like that".
I'm not going to name names, but ... yeah. Now obviously you can't please everyone, and haters and going to hate no matter what, but .... yeah. To take time out of your day to pull down someone else's so viciously.... it's beyond me. And as a bipolar person, I find these kinds of comments particularly cutting. The ECTs must be doing something though because instead of wanting to jump off a bridge I thought, "my makeup isn't awful and there is nothing fucking wrong with that picture". Red isn't the most wearable eyeliner colour, obviously, but the overall look is strong. I'm sorry, but it's true.
It got me thinking about how I might have reacted pre-ECT, or last year, or five years ago, for example. I can't deny I still feel hurt, but back then I would have been hurt beyond all bounds. I might never have picked up an eyeliner again. I definitely would have stopped looking in mirrors. Or going anywhere near cameras. I would have stared at the floor a lot more. I might have given my makeup collection away entirely. I would have cried. And cried. And cried. That comment would have ruined me, for months on end.
I know it sounds dramatic, but any of you in the midst of a bad bipolar spell/ depression will feel me. I also know that there are, right this minute, people posting shots of themselves on Instagram and getting hateful comments. And that some of those people ARE in a bad spell/ bad depression. And I fear for them. And I feel for them. And I hope for better for them.
As always, my message is, you are not alone. I am here with you, or have been here with you. Before you jump off that bridge, come talk to me. Whether you're Bipolar, depressed, schizophrenic, obsessive compulsive.... whatever your mental ailment may be.
Also, come say hi! I would love to talk to you guys on Instagram, it would be more immediate. 'Nushinspacemakeup' is what it is. I definitely consider makeup part of my therapy; with the occasional hiccup like today I guess.

Monday, 22 June 2015

UPDATED Optometry of a Photograph: the ECT (Electroconvulsive therapy) of it all

Hi Guys,
so I've been MIA since forever ago, and i'd like the chance to explain why. Since January, and all the turmoil with my Oma, my health has taken a serious downturn. It got to the point where my medications stopped having any effect, and nothing my doctors were suggesting was bringing me out of my depression. I can't explain it, rather then to say I feel heavy. Physically too, but mostly mentally and emotionally- just heavy. Like breathing is hard.
I took it upon myself to start the year right. The minute we got back from Germany I started eating right and running 2 hours everyday. You know where it got me? nowhere. My medication has a stranglehold on my metabolic rate, and instead of losing weight and getting in shape, I put on another 5 kilograms. And I am like 5 foot bugger all, so that's a crap ton, especially on top of what I spent last year putting on. I just feel like i'm trapped in a hamster wheel going round and round and getting absolutely nowhere. And I am sick of doctors telling me I "just have to try". I just got back from the hospital about an hour ago and today's advice was "drink more water and you'll lose weight". Sometimes i'm not that surprised that I have detailed fantasies about doctor slapping.
Anyway, my meds weren't, and aren't working. So my doctor gave me a couple of options. ECT/ Electroconvulsive therapy or a Ketamine infusion. I chose the former, though lord knows when the latter will be back on the table. So what is ECT? You're put under general anesthetic. Through electrodes on the scalp, an electric current is passed through the scalp to cause a brief seizure in the brain. You're given a muscle relaxant prior to treatment to limit the seizure to slight movements of your hands and feet. Now typically you wake up like 15 minutes to a half hour later and apparently don't remember the ECT or the events directly preceding. I say 'typically' and 'apparently' because I've now been through 10 (yes, ten) ECT sessions, and have yet to forget anything.
I'd love to do some forgetting actually. I'm one of those people who is very hard to put under, on account of no one being able to find my veins. Today, for example, it took 5 different needles and 5 separate tries before someone managed to get a vein. The highest the count has gone up to was 8, and that included 3 punctures in my feet. As you can imagine, it's a trying experience. They're holding you down, and people are poking into you with sizeable needles, while someone else has an oxygen mask clamped over your nose and mouth. I'd liken the feeling to claustrophobia. Pain and claustrophobia- that's what I remember from before the ECT.
Apparently (again) people can wake up feeling nauseated and vomit-inclined, but I've been fine in that respect. I've done my treatments as an out-patient, so I've always woken up and gone home afterwards. 
I'm going to complete a course of 12 treatments, and then reassess. I don't know what happens if this doesn't work out. I really don't fancy undergoing another course of ECTs anytime soon. If any of you have any questions please feel free to ask in the comments. I'm happy to answer whatever I can. If you're considering ECT or undergoing it yourself i'd love to hear about your experience. The main point I want to drive home is that a modern ECT is not like some Frankenstein scene. You are literally out for the count during the procedure, and you barely feel any side effects afterwards. I had people telling me that I was going to turn schizophrenic if I underwent an ECT, and that is simply not the case. I'm not saying it's something to enter into lightly. Not at all. It is still GA, and it is still an electric current and your brain.
Consider carefully. Talk to your doctor. Get second and third opinions. Think long and hard about how you're feeling and if any of your meds are having tangible effects or not. Exhaust all your options, but at the end of the day, if all roads lead you to ECT, don't be afraid. You are not alone. You can always come talk to me (and countless other people, obviously, but I can only speak for myself). I am here to help. Today's hospital makeup will have to satisfy the 'optometry' requirement:
UPDATE: the advent of my period heralded a slump in my BDI score, and some cause for concern medically speaking (holy hell of a sentence huh? jeez). So now my docs are discussing an ECT plus Ketamine induction. Essentially using Ketamine instead of Propofol to put me to sleep during the ECT. Funnily enough, I didn't have an ECT yesterday (usually Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) because docs could not get a vein to save their lives. When you're going in that often, yours tend to close down, and viable ones become few and far between. After 12 attempts, I made them stop, and called in the psych team to discuss giving my veins a rest, so to speak, until Wednesday in the hope that that will help. I will then undergo the ketamine induced ECT for the first time, and will update this post again once that happens.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

5 second movie review: 50 Shades of Grey

Hi Guys,
here's a 5 second review of the new Fifty Shades of Grey movie. It's fucking sexy. The end.
I kid, but it is. Sam Taylor-Johnson did a fantastic job handling the subject matter, directing her actors, and making the movie its own entity, freed from the terrible prose of the books.
Dakota and Jamie have so much chemistry from the get go, it's just great to watch them. It's literally explosive chemistry.
I was prepared to rag on this film, like I ragged on the books (still terrible), but I really enjoyed it. If you can "enjoy" something like this.
It was hot. Steamy. Sexy. And best of all you felt like it was kind of equally a part of the female gaze as the male's. You could definitely tell a woman directed it; it hit all the right notes, judging from my own, and the reactions of the women in the audience.
I was surprised to see someone from just about every walk of life in the theater. A mother with her daughters. An elderly couple. A business man. A group of guys in suits. A young couple. Everyone.
Rating?? A-

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Optomertry of a Photograph: Exhaustion

Hi Guys,
I almost feel like there should be a full stop after that. I can't even think straight anymore. Anyone else? it can't just be those of us who are Bipolar. I just cannot deal anymore.
I had a fixed place at a university to study photography at the end of February, and then through some left-hand-not-talking-to-right-hand bullshit, they postponed my spot to September. Now I don't trust them at all, and am having to research and apply to 500 other schools looking for someone who will look past my (previously mentioned) crappy grades, and take me based on my portfolio and current status. When I was in uni previously I was at the height of my disorder, untreated, and it was an unmitigated disaster.
That was .... seven bloody years ago. Now each application is costing 50-200 USD (about 250-600 of my currency ... a coke is 1.50 here too, so you can imagine), and everyone is wanting my old highschool record sent directly from my old schools (who no longer have said records because it was 15 years ago for fucks sake), or from the issuing bodies in Britain. Who want 45 pounds (200 bucks) for each certificate sent off.
They also want both mailed and FAXED copies of all my transcripts, application forms, form from my dad's bank, health checks, portfolios, statements of intent, previous course descriptions for each paper undertaken, etc etc etc.
I want to scream.
Or cry.
Or both.
It's so overwhelming I just ... I don't know what to do. And all the "contact us"/ "help" forms lead you back to "please check our website for more information", which helps fuck all do .. well .. fuck all.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Makeup by nush: Hangover Rescue

Hi Guys,
I hope you all had a great New Years Eve. I stayed home, as predicted, but I had fun with my mother and Oma, and after everyone went to bed I played some Mass Effect, read a book, and listened to all the booming fireworks.... until 6am, then I went to bed. Hah.
Anyway, to the point of this post. Some of you may have things to do today, you may need to go into work, or meet the girls/guys for lunch, or you just want to not look like shit hanging around the house (that'd be me, and yes, it's because my brother and his friends are here, otherwise i'd be makeupless, braless, pantsless... no wait. No.)
So here is the look I created just for these kind of hangovery occasions using all drugstore products.

Step One: if you want/need to apply a base, try a BB cream, or something light that you can shmear on with your fingers. Here I used the Garnier Hautklar BB cream (i'd give it like a C grade).
Step Two: add concealer and/or brightener under the eyes. I used the Maybelline dark circle eraser thingee with the sponge (A grade).
Step three: add a nude liner to your waterline to open up the eyes, I used one by Catrice (A). Rimmel makes a good one too.
Step Four: pick out two shadows, one light and one a few steps darker. Avoid pinks, purples, and anything too dark/warm. They will only exacerbate bloodshot/dry eyes. Here I used two singles by Catrice (B). Apply the light colour to your lid and browbone, the darker shade in the crease and outer corner. Blend. You could use shades out of a palette to make it easy.
Step Five: apply slightly more blush than you normally would. I used the Sleek Faceform kit in Light (A). The blush is shimmery and rosy and perfect; you won't need to add highlighter as well. This will help waken up the skin and disguise a multitude of sins.
Step Six: apply something BOLD on the lips. I used Pink Pong by Bourgois (A+), but feel free to pick any loud colour. This will draw the focus to your lips and away from dehydrated skin and tired eyes.
Step Seven (the most important): curl your lashes. Then curl them again. Apply several coats of mascara. If it starts to clump run through the lashes with a spooley. You want them bold, and you want them black; top and bottom. This will go a long way to opening up your eyes and making you look more awake. I used Maybelline's The Rocket Volume Express (A). 
and BAM. You're done.
I hope this helps some of you, as always.
Welcome to 2015 :)

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Makeup by nush: New Years / Night Out / Date Night / Party looks

Hi Guys,
so I have been doing a couple of New Years looks on my Instagram, and I figured i'd transplant them here. Might give someone some ideas. I've tried to make them as varied as possible, but I also just bought a set of mini Femme Fatale pigments, so they kinda feature heavily.
Picturage (before I ramble you to death):

I hope that was .... um ... inspiring? interesting? funny (for some reason my Oma thinks all my makeup looks are ridiculously haha-funny)? I don't know.
What I do know is that I hope you all had a good Christmas, and wish you all the best in the new year :)

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Optometry of a Photograph: pretty sidewalks

Hi Guys,
I don't know why I always end up posting bipolar related blogs around the holidays or my birthday or .. you know, occasions that are supposed to be blissful and happy and joyous and whateverthefuck.
Maybe because of the whateverthefuck. That seems to somehow creep in, no matter how hard I try, and it just flattens me.
I LOVE Christmas. I love putting up the tree (or trees, in my house- one personal tree in the guest room for my Oma), I love decorating the cookies, I love the music, the getting and receiving of gifts, I love it all. Then Christmas day comes, and ... everything I'm missing seems to be glaringly obvious.
Is it like that for any of you?
I realized about a week or two ago that I am still in love with this guy who dumped me almost 3 YEARS ago. Like seriously. By text message even. He is one of my brother's friends, so I left it up to him to spin the breakup story how he wanted to.
Probably a mistake.
But I have carried this feeling, this love, this heartache, this pain, this bewilderment (it was like one day to the next; fine to dumping time) for YEARS. PLURAL.
Who does that? especially when they've been treated so awfully. I don't even know. Right this second, my brother's friends have arrived. They're going to be drinking and partying and having fun. You know what i'll be doing? in my Christmas makeup, and my nice clothes...? staying home in front of the computer by myself (just as I did last year, and the year before, and the year before, and so on).
It's such a weight to carry. Such a weight. (and yes, Frodo said it first).
I don't know how ... I don't know why ... this having of good friends thing... it's not something I've ever been able to manage. Reckon that'll tell you more about me than I'd like. I live a solitary life, but in my mind, I'm not a solitary person. Y'all know what I mean? I probably live in my head so much because it's so much easier and lighter and less painful than it is in this one. And that fact is just driven home every year around this time.
I feel sad like I can't explain. Sad-tired. Sad-frustrated. Sad-weepy. Sad-moody. Sad-drowning in my own tears. SAD.
I wish I didn't have this sadness. I wish I didn't have this envy. I wish I didn't have this heaviness that settles over me.
I read something someone posted on Instagram yesterday (@nushinspacemakeup)and it struck a chord.
Paraphrased, it said: You can't expect people to treat you the way you treat them because they don't have the same heart as you do.
It got me thinking about this love that I have, and this sadness that I carry, and this aloneness that I feel. So much of it is just because my feelings are unrequited or dismissed, or not recognized at all. Maybe if I adopted the aforementioned mantra, I could just let go of some of these things I've been holding onto for far too long.
Love is hard though. But I'm going to try. Whateverthefuck. 
I hope you're all having a wonderful Christmas.