I was going to title this 'a few things to be avoided' but as I began writing, I realised I was wrong. Take note kids; me being wrong isn't something that happens regularly. I am always right. I never bothered learning my left from right, because both of my hands are right. But I digress. I turned the original list on its head, because it's much nicer not to run from yourself. It's ok to take a rest (and it's more than ok when it's a rest from negativity).
-Looking in a mirror, unclothed (especially at night). My logic with this one being something to avoid was that I tend to look better clothed, because clothes are pretty, and I am not. But then I thought, is this the advice I would tell my beautiful best friend Alex? My gorgeous 13 year old cousin? Is this really what I would tell my child? No. And if a rule for myself doesn't apply to others, I need to knock it down. Look in the mirror. Enjoy what you see, whether it's after a day full of food, or a night full of sleep. I promise to try.
-Thinking too much about the future. Right now, I'm petrified of the future. Rejoining the world after years in hospital and entering a career for the first time. Thinking and planning is terrifying, but it's also liberating. I never planned for the future, to be honest, because I never expected to have one. To have a shot at life is glorious and fresh and raw and it kind of hurts, also. It's ok to hurt though, because that's reality. It's not something to take for granted; only the living can hurt and life, well, must be pretty good if some people spend 100-odd years bothering with it.
-Being alone. Again, there was a logic for this being part of my original list of things to avoid and it kind of goes like this... loneliness is grim. Do you know what's worse, though? No privacy or dignity. Being held down by numerous police, strip searched and put in a 'safety suit' that was 5 sizes too big and fell down every time I moved, because I had psychotic episodes and was seriously hurting myself. I didn't value myself when I had capacity and so I sure as hell didn't after I drank, for that reason, to psychosis. Learn to love your own company. Easier said than done, but it's like when life in general is a bit crap- it's better than the alternative.
-Spending half your life looking at other peoples' facebook profiles. My thinking for avoiding it was that it doesn't paint an accurate picture of the lives of others. But who cares? Use other people's successes as your own inspiration. Make your life as fabulous as your timeline.
-Various fashions that I currently abhor. Um, screw me (literally, if you want. Just kidding), do whatever the balls you like. I like the idea of my children screaming with laughter at my dodgy outfit choices, because better that than dull. At least they can have a laugh with their mates over how uncool I am/was. On that note, please stop referring to what fashion says will hide your 'flaws'. Who the hell is anybody to tell you your flaws or demand you cover them or hide them? Celebrate yourself... on that note-
-Looking and listing your flaws. Not bad advice when it was on my list of things to avoid, because who wants to bully themselves? Really, though, whether you look and list them or not, you will always feel like you have flaws. You don't have any, by the way- your body is perfect because it contains you- but I know this isn't going to change your mind, and that's cool. Look, list, love. Be comfortable. Enjoy your flaws as much as the parts you like and for every flaw you find about your physical, list at least 2 beautiful parts of you, physically or mentally.