10 Things I Find Scarier Than Halloween

1) My bank balance – Ah, when you think you have notes to throw at peasants but in fact you are the proud owner of €4.52.

2) The alarming rate my jeans shrink at when I spend that €4.52 on sausage rolls. 

3) “Opened 2 minutes ago” It’s gone past the minute mark, there is no way he is going to reply now. No matter how good the lighting was, how much makeup you have on or if your cleavage was pushed up to your eyeballs, it’s time to inform the bridesmaids and cancel the wedding. No looking back.

4) Seeing my ex on a night out after I’ve had a full bottle of prosecco to myself. A Halloween costume in itself to be honest.

5) Wearing spanx on a night out. Okay so my organs are all being squashed and I’m pretty sure my tummy blubber has nowhere to go but up to my 45 chins, but this is completely fine.

6) Life as an adult. Look, I refuse to ring the doctor or the dentist. I’ll just let this toothache take me and if this is how I go so be it, nice knowing you all xx

7) That time I voluntarily let some fella pierce my nipple.

8) Trying to be sexy in a bodysuit. “Sorry, it’s a bodysuit, let me just open that there. Sorry, hang on a second, sorry.” *falls off bed and ghosted into oblivion*

9) When you’ve been texting him again and your friends find out. He’s changed gals, promise. You know what they say, 746th time lucky.

10) Tinder. I constantly feel like Jane arriving in the jungle and have yet to find Tarzan.

My 24 Hours Without The Kettle

I woke up at 8:25am on a much anticipated Monday morning. I stayed in bed listening to the start of the howling wind until the words “Feeeee, tea!” made my body get up and hurry down the stairs, similarly to a child on Christmas morning. I sipped away like I would any other day and stared out of the window at the darkening skies and swaying trees. As I took my final sip, and this was actually final, unlike many others I always finish every bit of my cup of tea, even the last drop. So, as I took this final sip I placed the mug on the tea-stained coffee table and kept on living as normal – Snapping friends, arguing with my brother, communicating with my cats through the window, etc. However, as the clock struck 9:30 (ish, the details are all a blur) and the glow of the lamp beside me fell into darkness, it suddenly hit me – The power had gone. Storm Ophelia hadn’t even fully arrived yet and she had already taken the power… my power. “What now?” I pondered as my wifi disappeared and my 3G failed to load. “Oh, yes! I’ll make a cup of tea.” I decided, but it was not that simple.

I then spotted my dad braving the walk from the kitchen to sitting room, carrying a pot over to the fire. At this point I realised that this was our kettle for the day. And you know how they say a watched pot never boils, well the creators of that saying had a bloody valid point. As everyone became engrossed by the sheer power and beauty of mother nature, I watched this pot and the raging flames beneath it. Wrapped up in a blanket, I stayed on the couch snuggled up like a human sausage roll and waited. The teapot was becoming more and more lonely on the coffee table. I lifted the lid, all that remained at the bottom of the teapot was a trickle of warm water from an hour ago and two used teabags. Nothing else was going through my mind, I no longer cared about the lack of phone service or the lack of light in the room, I just needed a fresh, easily made cuppa. Was this addiction?

After three pathetic (great effort though) cups of tea, by 8:30 that evening I had my hat and coat on, ready to brave the remainder of the howling winds and head into my dad’s workplace. Did I bring my phone charger? No, the only thing in my arms was a flask which I was protecting with every maternal instinct within me. Our neighbours were also without power, so my dad’s shop was our only salvation. After the 15 minute journey, I prayed to every saint, god and deceased pet that the power would be on here. When the lights worked I made my way towards the kitchen area and I stared at the kettle for a moment. How beautiful it looked, so curvy and inviting, offering a warmth for all. The boiling sound increased and filled my ears like a beautiful melody composed by one of the greats. As the water poured into the flask, the steam rose and my imagination brought it to life, making it seem to grow into blissful shapes and pictures – Biscuits, doughnuts, puppies, Zac Efron topless, you name it.

On arrival home I realised that every cup of tea that day had a strange taste to it. It did not sit as well with me as tea usually does, but it had to do. It was the usual no sugars, bit of milk and nice chunky mug, but something was different. This tea was not made with tender loving care, it was made out of necessity, the desire to feed the addiction. I went to bed at 10:30 that night, allowing my thoughts to fall out of craving and into a blissful slumber.

The next morning I got dressed in darkness with a dead iPhone beside me. As 9:15 arrived and a lamp began to flicker, something inside of me also flickered. I think this flickering was hope. Hope kept me going through my 24 hours without the kettle, and as the lamp turned on for good, I ran out onto the landing, my ears expanding to hear the sound that I knew was coming – The boiling, the beautiful boiling. I smiled to myself and continued getting ready. When I was a little bit more glam and ready to go, I made my way downstairs, and even though my phone was still dead, the fire unlit and there was a slight chill in the air, the four cups of tea in a row on the coffee table seemed to put everything back together again, as if Ophelia had never come near the Fox household. I know this storm changed me and I can’t explain how, but all I know is this house had once again become a home and four mugs awoke four souls. Oh, I also found out that a watched pot NEVER boils so don’t even try making eggs on the fireplace mid mini hurricane!

The Unexpected Darkening Of My Brightest Days

This is my third attempt at writing this blog post. I have never been afraid to write a post for my blog, until now, and even at that I don’t know if this will even get posted. However, when I discovered that today is World Mental Health Day I felt it was important to share my story because I believe every story, no matter how big or small, is an important story… So here goes.

I guess I don’t know when it all started, I just woke up one morning and realised this lingering sadness wasn’t going away. I rolled over and checked my phone hoping no one had contacted me. They had. I put it back onto my bedside table and pulled the quilt back in towards me. I stared at the ceiling, weighed down by the unfamiliar feeling in my heart. Was it sadness? Numbness? Was I empty? As familiar tears rolled gently down my cheeks, I heard footsteps and prayed they weren’t walking towards my bedroom door. I wiped away the tears, but there was nothing gentle about that. The door sprung open, my mum throwing her hair back into a ponytail – “What’s wrong?” she asked. “I just feel sad all the time.” I mumbled through blubbers. This was the only way I could describe it – the pains in my chest, the love for my bed and the frenzied thoughts in my mind – I just felt sad. There was nothing dramatic about it. There was no major cause or occurrence. I just felt sad. I still feel sad as I am writing this in the same place I was that morning – my bed, my safe haven.

In general I am a very social and sensitive person. I love getting involved in conversations, I am always open about my emotions and I am never afraid to cry. Recent times were different though, I would wait until late at night when I was alone to cry because I didn’t want to worry my family or burden my friends, and the thoughts of social media made me feel anxious. I became unmotivated and lost that zest for life. I wanted to be alone, I wanted to go unnoticed for a few days, maybe even weeks, in order to come back to a world that felt enjoyable for me to be in again. Eventually I did cry, I cried on an average Wednesday in a room full of people. I didn’t want to cry in this setting but it was something I had no control over. I then went home and cried some more, and I have been crying ever since.

 I feel sad, I feel lost and I feel confused. Very confused. I felt my identity drift away as my confidence and happiness did. Even coming back to my blog now, I feel guilty. I feel guilty for the absence I needed to take. In my head my wisest words are covered with dust and my smiley pictures are a little blurry. While I want all my dreams to come true, I want to pause life for a while. As my plans and to-do-list built up, I became overwhelmed and everything else shut down. I cannot explain how or why but for some reason I feel negativity fall on me every day.

This feeling is new to me and pretty scary. Although I have always been an anxious soul, not being able to lift myself out of this gloomy phase makes me feel powerless… I used to be able to throw on some music and a nice outfit and instantly feel lifted.  I worry about life, I worry about myself and then I worry about every other thing I have absolutely no reason to worry about. I have always been a worrier, but right now I really need myself to be a warrior.

I have no explanation or cause for this feeling, and the thoughts of sharing this story scares me even though it is minor in comparison to the stories of many others. It scares me because I feel alone, it scares me that other people may not understand it and think I am strange or making it up. My only explanation is that lately I go through periods where I just feel overwhelmingly sad. However, there was something about today that needed to be the day. As I walked through my local town this morning, I was met by a man working on the road, he looked at me, the warmth of his smile beaming onto my face just like the sunshine was. “Beautiful morning!” he said. And he was right, there is something beautiful in every day and even though darkness can linger for a long while, the sun will always appear again eventually.

I wanted to write this because it may have been unexpected. You may not have seen it coming if you read my blog or meet me during the day. You may only hear my humorous, disastrous night out stories or see my over the knee boots and denim jacket strutting past you down the street while I’m holding three Penneys bags. That is okay though because this feeling was a surprise to me too. I think it is time to take care of my body on the inside just as much as I take care of my body on the outside.

And how about the fear of sharing this here even though I share hundreds of other stories about my life with my followers? Well, I guess that all comes down to the stigma around mental health, but my mum advised me to do what I do best even if I just wanted to keep it to myself. Of course she was right as always, because writing is what I do best and it turned out that writing this was a refreshing form of therapy that only I could bring to myself. So from me to you, whoever you are and wherever you may be, here I am, a physically healthy 21-year-old woman with an endless love of laughter and socialising, pouring my heart out from behind closed doors onto my most public platform. At the moment I am not feeling okay, but that is okay. A problem shared may not always be a problem halved, but I would definitely prefer to cry with a cup of tea and a friend by my side, so I really hope you do that too.

“Grow through what you go through” 
Love Fenella, 
aka that girl who is still that fashion loving disaster magnet who drinks tea by the gallon.
xx