28 Sep 2017

Breathe and be Kind


It's very easy to get caught up in the moment and often we’re so busy with what’s going on in our own lives that we forget there are others around us. Just for a moment, take a step back and breathe, forget about what’s happening and just relax.


Honestly, breath in and breath out - don't hyperventilate but try to calm everything inside of you and think about how much more you can give back if you had more to give... We as humans are constantly draining ourselves by trying to be the right person for everyone when really all we need to do is be the right person for ourselves - in that way we will attract the right people for us and we'll be able to give those few people more than we've ever given to others.

In breathing and calming yourself you are able to be a nicer person on the whole, us anxiety stricken people can allow the "demons" within to sleep while we control what we can day by day - by breathing and taking a second for yourself you can see the nice in the world, the wonder and the splendor and allow yourself to then be kind to others. You never know maybe their struggle is just like yours - heavy... so lighten the weight a little...


Today just pay a stranger a compliment, it doesn’t matter what it is as long as it’s something nice about the person. You never know whose day you’re making just by telling them they look nice or just by doing something as natural as smiling, and the bonus is, when you see how happy it makes them - the feeling you get will be just as rewarding.



With Love

Ash and Des 
xoxo

18 Sep 2017

#LikeAGirl

When did #LikeAGirl become a bad thing? For long enough #LikeAGirl has been made out to be a bad or demeaning term. But why? Who says that doing anything #LikeAGirl can’t be a GREAT thing? An EMPOWERING thing, something that brings us all together?

Girls, WE are stronger than we think, and doing things #LikeAGirl is just fine, actually it’s more than just fine…it’s AMAZING. Doing things #LikeAGirl means you to do things others wouldn't necessarily think you're capable of, means you're doing something that has been classified not worthy for someone to do.

So what if you throw, hit, run, jump, exercise, read, write, play games or even dress #LikeAGirl? Guess what? YOU ARE A GIRL & an amazing one at that, we shouldn’t let a few words stop us from being the GREAT beings that we are. From now on I'm doing everything in my power to do everything I can #LikeAGIRL.

We have to give all the credit for this awesome progress of the #LikeAGirl campaign, to the amazing people @Always for showing us girls what it means to be a girl & that it’s OKAY to do things #LikeAGirl. Thank you so much Always, for changing people’s perception of what it means to do anything #LikeAGirl, without you we wouldn’t have come so far.

With Love <3
Ash and Des
XXX

15 Sep 2017

When I can....

I'll never understand the reasons people have for judging others who have admitted that they can't do something or they have bitten off more than the can chew. If I am explaining to you my inability to do something, it's not because I'm just giving up, it's not because I think I'm better than you and it's certainly not so that you can tell me, "Ag, you can man!! You just need to put your mind to it." If I'm explaining to you that I can't do something, its for the reason that at this moment in time I CANNOT HANDLE IT!

I am someone with a lot on my plate, a lot more than I can chew... So I'm scaling down, as much as possible I am removing obstacles from my path and I am setting myself free, from this constant guilt that I've been carrying around. Guilt about my inability to handle my workload, my social life (which has now I think evaporated into thin air because I can never make social events), my inactivity as a friend, my inability to be friendly to my partner on most days because my head is so full of guilt about other things... and the list goes on and on and on.

I truly feel like I am living through a mental break down, it may not be whats truly happening to me at this point in time and I've never had one so I really am just going on instinct here, but that's the only way I have to describe it.

I am constantly anxious, to the point where I get headache from clenching on my teeth, I am shaking all the time, I can't regulate my temperature, my hands and feet are sweaty, I wake up coughing and gasping for air almost every morning around 3/4, I can't sleep (anyone who knows me can attest that this is HUGE deal to me). When I do sleep I'm plagued by strange dreams that don't allow me any rest, and then I wake up periodically. My throat just closes on me, which is a painful experience on its own... these are just the "major" issues..

It's been so long since I felt truly relaxed that I don't think I would recognize the feeling.

So I am empowering myself by not forcing me to do anything that I feel I cannot complete or cannot do. I am empowering me by making time for myself, I am HEALING me for MY benefit and unfortunately for those people that don't understand this, that don't understand me, I am focusing on me again.....

I will rise again though, I will get better and I will keep moving mountains - when I can (this has become my answer for most things) - because I'm teaching myself how to set limits, how to say NO and how to stop feeling guilty for the world's problems with me. It's okay to be not okay for a while, its okay to find your strength while others think you're weak and it's okay to rise out of the ashes like a phoenix and show those that thought you were weak, never to underestimate someone who has made time for themselves.

My Phoenix Tattoo is my Daily Reminder

29 Aug 2017

Dear Oupa

Okay so here goes...

My heart is beating out of my chest, but I have to write this now, or I probably never will.

Dear Oupa,

It's taken me a while to write this down and actually express what I feel about losing you - I guess I haven't been able to because it was too soon after Ouma, I was still reeling from the emotional roller coaster I'd been on, when we lost you too... I have been speechless since.

There are many different excuses I can pull out for the reasons why I never actually got to know you, for the reasons why I didn't spend more time with you, for the reasons that I haven't been able to write anything about you, but none of them matter, and none of them ever will again; no matter what I say now, here, I will never be able to get back precious moments that I took for granted.

I'm writing this now because I stumbled across a photo on Facebook of you, it was a picture that was posted years ago, you look so young, so full of life; one thing that will stick with me forever is that you were always laughing, always making comments, always being as sarcastic as before - its hard to picture a world where I won't ever get to hear about loeries and their ostrich sized eggs, its hard to picture a world where I won't ever hear you chatting to the birds as you fed them, it's hard to picture a world without you.

But I guess I have to, I can just be happy that you're not in anymore pain, that you are no longer scared and that you can now see how much we all love and adore you.

I love you Oupa and are missed every single day...


28 Aug 2017

Today...

Today is one of those empty days.
The days where I feel alone
I have no one
No one cares
Everything is going to go wrong
Everything I do is not good enough
I have no energy to do anything
I have no motivation to even try and work

Today is the day where I feel lost
Where I am fighting the monster from my nightmares
But only he’s here
Right by me
Staring over my shoulder
Snickering as I type every word
Pushing those doubtful thoughts into my head

Today is a day where I wish to just close my eyes forever
I have no reason to feel like this,
I had a fantastic weekend,
I have amazing friends,
I have an amazing family that cares,
I have NO reason to feel empty and lost
But….
I do
And I feel it terribly.

Today is a day where the battle is within me
I fight the monsters that tell me,
“You’re no good”
“You’re a failure”
“Everyone hates you”.

Today is the day that will remind me tomorrow how strong I am.
Today is the day that will remind me tomorrow that I can overcome anything.
Today is the day that will remind me tomorrow that I am never alone.

Today is the day that will remind me tomorrow that I made one more day.

By Anonymous.

17 Aug 2017

Love is Love

What is love? To me it’s something that can’t be quantified. Love is kind, love is honest, love is patient, love is... love. Which is why when people are the total opposite it confuses me, freaks me out and just about infuriates the heck out of me. Why people choose to hate instead of love is something I will never understand, especially when it’s the first reaction.

Reading online what’s happening across the world has left me in awe, and not in a good way, rather in a way that has me questioning humanity. Here’s where I insert a quote from one of the world’s greatest humans, this world ever got the privilege to know, Nelson Mandela – 'No one is born hating another person because of the colour  of his skin, or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes naturally to the human heart than its opposite.' This just proves that we are not born hateful, this atrocious and unacceptable behaviour is taught.

Why go around hating someone just because they are different from you? Why go around bullying someone because they look\act different from how you’d rather have them look or behave? Yeah sure people are afraid of things they do not understand but that is a bullshit and tired excuse for acting like an asshole. Just for a moment put yourself in their shoes and see what it would be like if you were treated in the harsh manner in which you’re treating others and see if you like it, probably not.


I have a simple solution, educate yourself. That person you’re afraid of because they’re different, guess what? They’re a human being just like you, aaahhhhh shocker I know, who would have thought?! So just sit down and get to know them better instead of being judgmental and unkind.

As Maya Angelou said once, 'HATE it has caused a lot of problems in this world, but has not solved one yet.'

We as a collective can do this. Do not give up hope. We will love this hate out of this world. We will love the hate right out of the people so that what’s left is only love, we could use more love never more hate.

Remember to be kind to one another.

Peace, Love and Light to you all.
XOXO

Ashleigh

6 Jul 2017

I am not my anxiety.

I hate my anxiety. I hate who it is and what it wants. I hate how it makes me feel and I hate how it makes me act. I hate my anxiety.

There are many people who don't understand my illness, so let me be your informant.

My anxiety is greedy, irrational and confrontational, it takes what it wants leaving nothing behind except the ruins of my friends and family should they reach the wrong end of it. My anxiety is angry, it is exceptionally pissed off, it is the sleeping beast I try not to wake. My anxiety is uncontrollable; I cannot stress this enough actually, my anxiety has a mind of its own.

My anxiety attacks me, when I least expect it and when I've got my back turned to it, it is not always a loud elephant galloping through the wilderness, no, it can be a sneaky cat that treads softly and eats me alive. When my anxiety hits, IT is in control, I have left the building - I am hiding in the dark recesses of my mind waiting for it to decide it's had enough and goes back to sleep. Its then, and only then, that I get to take the reigns again.

When my anxiety attacks, it's not always throat closing, unable to breath, choking and shaking uncontrollably - although it can be; it's sometimes a little more vile, that even I don't know it's taken over till it's too late. My anxiety can present itself in many different ways, for those that have never encountered this (or think they haven't), anxiety is actually a lot like the flu, it can come in many different shapes and sizes. My anxiety can come out as anger, dead space staring or 'ants in my pants'. My anxiety can take me from extreme happiness to extreme irritation in a matter of seconds.

I get heart palpitations when people don't text back, when I have to leave the office (I really don't understand that one), those milliseconds before the other person picks up the call (I never used to be able to make calls), when I'm driving, when I'm waiting on any kinds of results. I get angry when I'm greeted in the morning and I'm unable to speak to people because I know my anxiety is in full control - if I do say anything, I'm generally not the nicest.

I hate it when I've had an 'episode'. I hate it when my anxiety has taken over from me, because while everyone else thinks I've just been angry and need a bit of time, it's much, much more than that. When my anxiety has taken over from me and I am 'coming down', I start to feel terrible, I feel like the worst person around because I've probably said some things that weren't meant to be said and then because I have anxiety it starts eating away at me. That's the fun part they don't tell you about this illness, you know you are screwing up, you know that you shouldn't be doing what you're doing but you can't stop and you don't understand why.

My anxiety does not define me. I am me, living with anxiety. My anxiety is not who I am but rather who I don't want to be. I have never experienced as much self hate as I have when thinking about my anxiety, I don't want this I am not this and I don't have a say - at all.

So the next time when someone close to you explains why you probably shouldn't say stuff like "Just Relax Man" please rather take a listen - it's not something that's easily controlled (or even spoken about) but if everyone steps in and holds their end of the deal, it makes it a little easier on people like us.

5 Jun 2017

Depression in my brain

I think there are many of us twenty-somethings just getting into a new relationship and not yet sure of how to bring up the big scary D word! We know it's there, we've probably given them snippets of it and they've told us it's not something they believe in or they've said that we're making a bigger deal out of something than it is (Yes I will punch you in the face with any of these). 

I'm thinking, I'll direct this post to those misinformed people who really want to understand but can't seem to get much out of their loved ones because (and this is a huge one that many people don't know about) they don't know they're hurting you. 
Yes, strange as it is and hard as it is to believe, often the depressed person doesn't know that they've hurt you - the snarky comment across the dinner table, how do they not know they're doing THAT?? I honestly don't have answer for you, all I can tell you, from someone who's been through this, is that as a depressive person, you are blind to damage you cause. I remember being angry, sad and mostly I felt like the victim, 'How could you say I'm being ugly to you when you were being mean to ME?'

"Clinical depression, also known as major depression, is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. Clinical depression affects the way you eat and sleep. It affects the way you feel about yourself and those around you. It even affects your thoughts." 
http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/untreated-depression-effects#1

I think that depression is more easily explained by someone who has been through it all and managed to come out the other end marginally unscathed, the problem with this for me, is that because it's more easily explained by someone thats recovered, it makes it's almost harder for your s/o to understand because "They're Fine, What's with you?" and unless YOU sit them down and explain to them that it's different for each person and the pain they cause when they say these things could really be curbed by a bit of understanding and a lot of empathy.

Feel free to leave comments in the comments section regarding your mental illness or just some insight into your life. Otherwise email us at content.reflections@gmail.com and we could post your story!

If you, or someone you know, may be clinically depressed, suffer from anxiety or any other mental illness, please consult your doctor as soon as possible.

Please see external links below if you would like to increase your understanding of this illness.
I have not obtained permission and should I overstep any copyright material please do inform me and I will have it taken down :).

https://themighty.com/2017/06/to-those-who-hide-their-mental-illness/
https://themighty.com/2017/06/my-tears-are-not-a-sign-of-weakness/
https://themighty.com/2017/05/why-you-should-start-a-conversation-about-mental-health/


15 Mar 2017

Feminist Expressions

By Ashleigh Seale


As a woman, I feel that we should be able to wear what we want when we want without being labelled or ridiculed for what we wear. Personally, I hardly wear anything short or revealing because of a lack of confidence that has been instilled in me due to men and women looking at me in a certain way or negative comments about how I look. Taking these reactions to heart is on me - for allowing them to make me feel this way, as much as it’s on them for not allowing me, my freedom of expression.

It makes me sick that some women are forced to cover up their gorgeous bodies because they are made to feel uncomfortable by men. We should not have to cover ourselves because men don’t know how to act around women showing a little skin here and there. Neither should we be harassed or be called names or made to feel ashamed of being sexy because they don’t know how to act - especially when ladies are being sexually assaulted and the excuses are that she was asking for it because she was wearing something revealing, BULLSHIT. We should be able to wear whatever we want without being afraid to go out because something might happen because of the items of clothing we choose to don.

There are ladies that would like freedom of expression without having to feel threatened or objectified! We should not be made to feel objectified simply because the male gender of our species has no “control” over their raging hormones. In spaces where men think its acceptable behaviour to cat-call ladies showing some skin (I believe that it's mostly learned behaviour from what is depicted in the media or indeed at home). That old marketing adage comes to mind - sex sells; which is effectively saying anything with a scantily dressed lady next to it will sell. Just seeing the curve of a breast - not even the whole thing - is enough to send men into a rampage of desire.

These types of behaviour need to stop. Just as men are allowed to walk around with their bare chests and shorts without being harassed by every second female spotting him, women need the same courtesy. Men need to be taught the right way to behave around a woman expressing her individuality on her own terms. Men need to be taught that respect above all is the best reaction to anything - no matter whether you agree with it, are aroused by it, or do not know how to react to it. And this starts at home. Every boy-child should be taught that skin does not mean consent – whether that is for actual sexual acts, remarks or even just staring. Every girl-child should be taught not to giggle and act flattered at these advances but to react with fire and brimstone required to shut down the thinking of those behaving this way, that their behaviour is acceptable.

No more shall we be shamed or called names for what we wear or how we’re wearing it! We shall wear our “skimpy” clothes with pride and we will not let stupid ignorant comments by men change that! You are beautiful regardless of what you wear or how short it is!


Ashleigh is a strong, confident and vibrant woman with the ability to take your thoughts and express them in a way you never saw possible. With strong feministic views this is the perfect start for her as a blogger on Content Reflections. 

Thank you and welcome Ashleigh!

Content Reflections

Desre's Bubble is now Content Reflections.... 

It was time for a change of pace and honestly a new look. I am expanding and recreating the original idea of my blog - it started out as a way for me to express myself and when I was told that my ideas and my expressions were helping people cope with everyday things, it was suggested to me that I collaborate with a friend to get more insights. 

Having given this a lot of thought I have decided to include a few people in my blog so that more thoughts could be added to my collection, because I'm not the only one living with depression, I am not the only person living with anxiety and everyone has their own coping methods and ways of learning to understand themselves. 

This being said, I open the floor to everyone else who would like to be featured in my blog, anyone out there with thoughts about what it's like to live with anxiety or simply what it's like living at all! Life has it's crazy up and down moments and sometimes we need to tell others how we feel but are unable to because your tongue has a way of getting twisted when you try to speak or you have a giant frog in your throat and literally can't - believe me this works just as well. 

So email me a sample of what you would put on the blog, I won't make you an author immediately but I will make sure to give you feedback and/or publish it under your name (or anonymous if you so please). 

content.reflections@gmail.com 

Get those creative juices flowing lovelies :)

1 Mar 2017

Just apologize...

In recent weeks I've seen a few interesting articles and memes on social media about people in the wrong not apologising for their actions but rather becoming more and more distant and drifting into acquaintances and later 'that dude I used to know'. This can not be more accurate if I tried - I'm not sure how the internet knew that I needed to see this stuff but thank you to those who have shared and posted these pictures etc. Sincerely thank you...

Honestly to me it's just raw emotion that goes into a proper apology, unfiltered and pure emotion. Now, I'm not talking about that kak you give your friend when you took their last oreo and that really annoyed them that one time, I'm talking about when you've properly screwed up and betrayed your friend's trust, I'm talking about that time your friend stopped speaking to you forever because you screwed up so solidly that they literally cannot even stand the look of you anymore. I'm talking the kind of apologies we never want to give but always want to receive.

Read that last line again, swallow your pride, pick up the damn phone and just do it. We get that you thought you were right to begin with and then the friend brought it to your attention that you really were just being an asshole and now you feel really stupid but also really shit and you're hoping that it sort of just goes away with the summer, but you and I both know it won't and the next thing you know years have gone past and you haven't spoken to your friend since back when dinosaurs roamed and then it's too late because that friend has realised that they really don't need the energy vampire (yes that's you) in their life and that they are done with you. 

So do it today, phone up the long lost loved one and apologize...

Unashamed, Unapologetic, Untouchable

I have been reading a lot lately about 'strong' women that won't beg for love or won't fight for the love she deserves, she'll just get up silently and walk away or move on because the 'strong woman' is defined as knowing her worth and knowing what she will or won't accept in life.

I (personally) see myself as a strong woman, this does not mean that I don't have feelings or havn't been hurt because, while I know my worth and I know what I want out of a relationship, I have begged for love, I have crawled back with my tail between my legs, I have cried many many tears over lost lovers or even friends. I do not see myself as the world's socially defined 'strong woman' - I am my very own masterpiece and I like the person I am today.

I am loud, opinionated (often too opinionated), gasping for air while laughing my head off, unable to see straight as the tears roll down my face, flawed as fuck and you can be damn sure I am proud of the STRONG woman I am today.

Socially strong woman are these iron ladies who hold their heads up even though the world is falling apart around them, they are made out to be cold and (in my very loud opinion) heartless. I am made to feel ashamed because I cried my heart out when my first 'real' boyfriend broke my heart and I had the audacity to try and fix what I thought I had. I felt belittled by posts I saw on instagram and facebook about strong woman who won't beg for anything because I literally begged my boyfriend a few years ago to take me back. I am now unashamed and proud to say that I couldn't give two shits what anyone might define me as because of so called weak moments in my life - you call them weak, I call them character defining ballsy moves because I put my heart on the line and it was crushed.

I have overcome so much in my 23 years in existence and I am delighted with how I've turned out - I have stumbled, crawled and probably fell face first into a puddle of mud (metaphorically people) so many times I can't even count it anymore. I am a good person. I know what I want out of life and I will not put others down for not wanting the same things as me.

I am a strong, blatantly human, woman and if anyone has a problem with that... they really shouldn't make it mine because it has nothing to do with me what other people *THINK* they know about me.

15 Feb 2017

I am not a disciplinarian to my equals...

It's funny how we as humans are so quick to point out what others in our lives are doing wrong or not doing for us instead of looking at ourselves and asking the more important questions, such as 'Why does it matter?' I myself am guilty of doing this and I can't help but wonder why it is I feel the need to put others down instead of accepting that there are more ways than one to do things I want done, why not just accept that the other person has there own way of doing what it is you need done, and be grateful for the fact that they are in act doing this for you.

This is something that's been eating at me for quite some time and to be honest I still don't have an answer, I don't know why I do it, I don't know why others have done it to me and I really don't know why it's so difficult to just be grateful and accept that someone is going out of their way to help you. It's the same principle as when you are looking at others faults and seeing them clearly but when it comes to your own you are unable or unwilling to see what you are messing up on.

I do this in relationships, I fault find and will end up telling you exactly what is wrong with you and why it's wrong and what you should do to fix it; this is where I make my biggest mistake. It's not my duty to fact check, discipline or 'teach' my partner, it is my duty to appreciate what he does for me, understand that I too should help him where I can and should he misunderstand what I asked, it's not on me to shout at him or berate him like he's my three year old son.

I think for me it's my anxiety that plays a large role in how I treat others and how I understand or misunderstand what I'm being told. I, however, need to make myself aware of these problem that I have and deal with them myself and not take it out on them.

I have spent this entire post talking about relationships but the funny thing is this was meant to be a post on the effect of this on friendships - it is basically the same thing though, your friends are your life as are your partners and your family (at least this is the case for me) and berating them or putting them down because of your own downfalls or even preferences is going to cause some major drama.

To the people in my life, I am flawed - this I will not apologise for as we're all human, but I can take control of my flaws and not expect you to understand why I am the way I am without having at least tried to explain to you what happens in my head and if I've done this, I sincerely apologize
.

16 Jan 2017

Admission

I am not okay. 

None of this is OK and I am not willing to pretend it is anymore.

I look it and I'm a brilliant actress for it but I am not ok.

I miss my 'Ouma' more than anyone can imagine - I was not ready to lose her and yet she was ripped from my life before I had time to admit to myself that she may not always be there. 

I had made peace with your death long before you went Ouma but I was never ready for the pain and anguish of not being able to pick up the phone and talk to the woman who formed such a huge part of my childhood. I miss you so much it hurts.

Your last words to me and mine to you were, 'I love you', and it could not have summed up our relationship any better because the love between a grandmother and her grandchild runs so deep and so pure that I would not have wanted to say anything else given a second chance - you knew I loved you and knew, had I been able to, I would've given you the world. 

So I am not okay, but that is alright, I am grieving, and in time I will learn to cope with the fact that you aren't here.

I love you and miss you more daily,

Rest in peace