Depression (and my butt)

I think I can now say with complete conviction that I was depressed. At the very least since the end of last year but probably well before that and it peaked between June and about two weeks ago. Or maybe troughed is the better word here? Is the peak of one’s depressive episode the best part or the worst? Eh, either way I feel like it’s lifting.

I went to a doctor the other day and he said not to stress too much if I still have occasional downs. The main thing is that I’m feeling overall better and that ‘feeling betterness’ is outweighing the lows. I’ve seen a few good doctors lately. It definitely helps.

At my absolute worst, I couldn’t get out of bed. I would be ambushed by anxiety the moment I woke up and staying in bed, avoiding the day, seemed like the only way to get through it. I have a rescue dog though who is very adamant about his walks so staying bed all day wasn’t a possibility for me and I remember resenting his existence very deeply at the time. Which obviously made me feel even more like a piece of shit.

I think I went a month without washing my hair. I’d just keep tying it up. Thankfully my hair is curly and naturally dry so it wasn’t toooooo gross but it was extremely knotted and took a lot of work to detangle when I finally found the energy. Showering was just as hard. It was not a good time.

I think the hardest thing about depression is the loneliness and isolation that comes with it. You can’t do anything so you feel worthless. You soak up other people’s frustration like a sponge and then feel worse. You’re not yourself. You don’t want to see anyone. You’re not fun. Each time you curl up into a ball, you’re letting someone down. Each time you fail to show enthusiasm, it’s a disappointment. And so on and so on, it’s like compounding interest. Every fucking day, you’re more in the hole.

And then you’re not. I don’t know about anyone else but, for me, it wasn’t any big thing that changed. I didn’t magically find a support network (aside from my therapist). I didn’t start doing anything different. I just felt a tiny bit of enthusiasm for, of all things, replying to my emails. Don’t get excited, I didn’t do them that day. It wasn’t that rapid a transformation.

But the thought lingered and brought other thoughts with it and eventually I got to my emails and I felt productive. And then my brain fizzed with other things I wanted to do. I started using my habit stacker app to give myself a routine. I started meditating again. I started taking care of my skin; something I had always been so fastidious about but had completely neglected. I wanted to DO THINGS to make myself feel better and I was actually excited. I felt good. I was happy to wake up in the morning, instead of being filled with despair. I could look around and see beauty instead of just not wanting to be here.

The difference in how I was feeling then versus now is quite shocking to me and the weird thing is that it’s this new feeling that feels unreal. Like why am I so fucking happy about the smell of jasmine? Why doesn’t the depression fog feel unreal and this new joy feel solid and permanent? I’m hoping that changes the longer I feel better.

I’m not going to say it’s been all sunshine and rainbows since I started feeling better. I’ve definitely felt shit again since then and I don’t want to jinx things by saying this but, overall, I think the fever has broken and I’m on the mend. I hope so anyway.

And if you’ve read this far, here’s a little present for you (yes, I’ve started taking pics again! Yay for the easing of depression!):

Sleeping sickness

We’re going into our eighth week of Covid lockdown here in Sydney and all I’ve been wanting to do is sleep. I find I can sleep for huge amounts of time during the day without it affecting my night sleep, which works perfectly for me seeing as there’s really not that much to do. Or, let me rephrase that, there is. I just don’t want to do any of it.

If I’m honest, I’d have to admit this sleeping started before the lockdown. Roughly since the beginning of June, but that’s a minor detail. Lockdown has made extreme napping a somewhat acceptable activity. For me, at least. I speak to a few doctors and get a blood test seeing as it didn’t feel quite normal. No conclusive results – some suggestions included seasonal depression, getting over an illness, my antidepressants making me feel sluggish. Basically, who knows?

It’s winter here so we have the heater on and waking up in the dark warm room and realising I can stay in bed is one of the few times I feel genuinely happy all day. I feel lush and decadent. If it’s a weekday, Jared will have already left for the gym by the time I wake up so I have the whole bed to myself. I stretch out. I roll around. I doze. The pleasure I get from closing my eyes over and over again and ignoring the day borders on the obscene. My body feels soft and unformed. Like I haven’t been born yet and anything is possible. I feel embryonic. Safe in my womblike bedroom, cocooned away from the world.

As long as I stay in bed, I can keep the long grey stretch of day at bay. I can avoid the anxiety of what I should be doing with my time/day/life. Getting out of bed can feel impossible – immovable object meets unmotivated force. Against all odds, the unmotivated force (me) will eventually crawl out of bed. The couch beckons. The dog demands. If I didn’t have a dog to walk, I would probably never leave the house. And if he wasn’t so insistent on going outside… well, he makes sure I get my Vitamin D, let’s just say that. I often find myself resenting his enthusiasm.

There are sparks of colour in my day. The smell of my perfume after I’ve showered. The warmth of the sun on my skin. The scent of jasmine in the air now it’s getting warmer. The small dopamine hit you get with each correctly placed jigsaw puzzle piece. Reading my book. Reading so many books. Flowers. Food.

I have lots of things to be grateful for but sometimes it’s hard to see them. I will try more.

It’s been awhile

So I’ll make this quick as there has been a call for an update on my tan lines (and I thank you for making me feel missed!). I can confirm the tan lines in question have been eradicated and I’m cultivating quite a golden glow thanks to many long and tiresome hours slaving away at the beach (slathered in sunscreen obviously).

My husband, Jared, has semi-recently become obsessed with filling our apartment with plants and, being an opportunist, I saw these as a great alternative to my standard lingerie pics. The green looks quite nice against my tanned skin, I think.

I took these next ones this morning. It’s cool and rainy outside so the lighting is a bit less glorious than that in the pics above but I’m not mad at it at all. In fact, I really like the green and blue combo in this lighting.

Bursts of creativity!

I’ve been having a bit of creative spurt lately and I feel like it’s because I’m partying less and being healthier. More cycle classes and Pilates, less hangovers. What a change of speed. My brain is definitely happier, that’s for sure, and it’s rewarding me with all the good feels in return. And you guys get to reap all the benefits!

So this is a three piece set from the lingerie store I work at, babylikestopony. The brand is la file d’O and it’s another delicious open bra with a pair of peep bottom briefs and suspenders over the top. Do you like it? I fucking love this set – it’s so much fun. I shared it on my IG account and someone actually came into the store to buy the briefs. Yay!

I had a play around with a few different backdrops when I did this shoot on Tuesday. They’re all a bit different – dining room versus two bedroom options. The light is really good at this time of year so I can’t complain. Which background do you prefer?

I’ve actually done a few shoots this week so I have some more pics to share when I get time to post them on here. So many new pretty things in the store with more new things coming. Plus I did another nude sun ray shoot this afternoon which turned out really pretty.

Bye bye tan lines

We’ve been having somewhat of a heatwave here in the Land Down Under. Today and yesterday both hit 40°C and Friday was in the high 20°s so naturally I got my ass to the nude beach. It was glorious and I think we can all agree that I’m slowly but surely chipping away at the very few tan lines that remain from those pesky times when I’m forced to wear bikini bottoms. I’m always topless at the beach so boob lines are never an issue.

Today was unbearably hot and super windy so I decided to give my skin a rest and not lie in the sun for hours on end for the third day in a row. The weather turned a bit this afternoon and, while it’s still ridiculously hot, it feels like a cool change is on the way. Thank god. There were moments at the beach yesterday when the wind came through and it literally felt like someone had opened an oven in the sky and all the hot air was slapping me in the face (and all over my body). I honestly don’t think I’ve ever spent that much time in the water!

My butt bruises are also starting to fade away so that’s another small win 😊

The mere suggestion of lingerie

I’m a big fan of ouvert bras and undies. Something about it being only the barest suggestion of underwear just does it for me. Not to mention open wire bras are generally very flattering on smaller boobs. Not that I need the support, my breasts are very perky as it is but still, a girl should know what styles are going to do her the most favours.

Case in point: today’s ouvert set by Atelier Bordelle

I hadn’t planned to shoot anything today but here we are. The light was fading so I now know I need to shoot a bit earlier if I want to avoid the weird sunlight line you can see in the first pics but, by the time I’d finished playing around, the light had softened up and worked quite well for the next few pics.

Please excuse my bruised butt. I spent Sunday getting drunk on a boat in Sydney l harbour and I’m covered in bruises I can’t even begin to explain.

Anyway, I think I’m getting pretty efficient at this selfie thing.

Me and Sunbeams: another series of nude self(ie) portraits

Our bedroom gets really pretty afternoon light in the summer time and, when I got home from the beach yesterday, I got a sudden wave of inspiration to take some nude shots with all the pretty sunbeams. Now these selfies I am very happy with – mainly because I didn’t have to worry about my face 🙂

What do you think?

I’m liking this newfound love of nude self portaits. There’s obviously the feminist aspect of controlling the images of your own body and presenting them using a process that only involves you and your vision but there’s also the freedom it lends me to just get it done whenever the mood strikes me and not have to rely on anyone else to also be in the mood.

Here’s to more of this and really just more creativity in general. That’s my goal for the moment.

Me with Hat: a series of nude self(ie) portraits

I never take selfies. Like ever. It’s pretty much a mantra of mine. I don’t see the point. I don’t like the perceived narcissism. I’m shit at taking them. Maybe that final point is the only one you really need to take into consideration.

Anyway, I did a thing. I took some fucking selfies with a new hat I got (also my first proper hat – it’s a day of firsts!). And I’m actually more ok with them than I thought I would be. I don’t LOVE them like a huge heart eye emoji but I don’t mind them and I like the colour combo of the red hat with the green wallpaper. I think I did ok for my first go.

And here are some of the first ones I tried before I figured out the bedroom was a better option. Clearly I’m still trying to figure out what the fuck to do with my face here. Not that I’ve nailed it in the first batch, but I’m definitely a bit better. God, it’s such a fucking awkward thing to do – take nude photos of yourself. I am about a decade off the age bracket that feels comfortable doing this shit. Ah well, for your viewing “pleasure” I submit: Me with Hat

A very different style of photography

Maybe a month or so, I was contacted by one of the girls I met through babylikestopony, the lingerie store I work at. She has an Instagram account where she posts all her glorious lingerie and then another account for her photography. She shots everything herself and the photography page is all shot on film.

Anyway, she reached out to me and asked if I’d be willing to let her shoot me, which of course I was. I was actually quite flattering and very, very nervous. Firstly because I didn’t know her that well and secondly because Jared shoots on digital where you can take a million pics and know straight away whether the shot is good or not. Film sounded terrifying. What if she shot rolls and rolls and everything was rubbish? Aaargh! I was freaking out.

Turns out, I needn’t have worried. We ended up with quite a few great pics and they’re actually a lovely contrast to the more men’s-magazine style pics Jared takes. Nothing at all wrong with Jared’s pics, I still love them. It’s just nice to see myself through a different lens. See what I did there? 😉

As you can see, verrrry different from the other pics I’ve shared here. These are definitely more arty with a soft, moody, dreamy vibe. I love how she incorporated my love of books and lingerie while still managing to infuse everything with a kind of voyeuristic sensuality. It’s sexy but not in an overt or performative way. I can’t decide if it’s to do with it being shot from and for the female gaze or if it’s just two photographers with totally different styles. Which do you prefer?

Also, if I’d known my face would be in it, I probably would’ve at least done my hair 😩


There’s a scene towards the end of Bret Easton Ellis’ novel Rules of Attraction where one character, Sean, likes another one and, in trying to get their attention, says they want to “know” them (not in the biblical sense, although plenty of that happens in this book). Lauren, the liked character, retorts:

“What does that mean? Know me?” I ask him. “Know me? No one ever knows anyone. Ever. You will never know me.”

I’ve been pondering this a lot lately. People have been telling me stories and anecdotes that often end with ‘and it made me think of you’ or ‘I knew you’d like that’. I suppose I should be grateful they’re thinking of me but I’m always kind of left thinking that they don’t really know me. Or worse, maybe I should be a bit worried about what they think they know about me. Mainly the question is: can we ever really truly know someone?

I don’t think so. Maybe for some people, the open books, the ones that wear their heart on their sleeve and share their innermost thoughts with everyone. Maybe for them. But what about the quiet ones who keep to themselves and don’t like to talk about their shit? Who can truly say they know them? Maybe you did once but people change. Add enough time and experience – good or bad – and people either blossom or curl in on themselves. Maybe both, in different areas of their life. Our environment informs our behaviour. We react to our surroundings. We learn from our mistakes.

Then you have the people with the carefully crafted facade, which I think is everyone, by the way. We all have our different faces we show to the world. The people we can get naked with and those with whom we stay fully clothed at. all. times – literally and metaphorically. Does anyone but you ever really see the real you or is there always the slightest glimmer of a mask because who could really like you if they saw the real you? Your mother, I guess. Maybe. Maybe not. Depends on your mum. Depends on you too, I guess.

* * *

On a completely separate note, I haven’t posted any pics for awhile. I have a semi-new set that a female friend took of me, all shot on film and very moody. I’ll post them soon although, full disclosure, you won’t find any nudity or cream pies in these particular pics. Apologies in advance.