What I'm Wearing #3

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Co-ord trouser suit - Zara // Rings - Topshop // Shoes - Converse
Photography - Dunja Opalko

The Ex-Boyfriends Ex-Bestfriends Playlist

Sunday, 23 March 2014

When most people break up with a boyfriend they lay guilt ridden holding onto their old possessions. Stealing sweaters and old band tshirts on the sly. When things came to the end for me and an ex boyfriend I tossed aside his hoodies and track pants and instead I nicked his best friend. We had a summer of searching for new indie bands and curling up watching Notting Hill with a Chinese, it was totally platonic and the only kisses ever exchanged were on the forehead. Musically we were soul mates, flicking from Jimi Hendrix to Bon Iver to The Strokes proudly in the car, I'd burn CD's every month with our favourite eclectic mix. Walking home from school with him soon became my favourite time of the day, balancing on green telephone wire boxes together putting the world to rights as we chatted until the burning summer turned into a wet windy winter. At the time I'd never really let another human being into my life in such a brazen and naked way, I didn't care all that much when my hair threw tendrils and curls over my make up - less face nor did my eyes wince when I delved into the pockets of my past and threw them out in front of him. As the summer dissolved it took our relationship with it, phonecalls weren't as often and arguments were rife. I was devastated.
All that was left was an old battered iPod Touch filled to the brim with no less than brilliant songs.
Whilst my music taste might differ now, I thought I'd share with you The Exboyfriend's Exbestfriend's Playlist, enjoy.

Thank you!

Friday, 21 March 2014

Excuse the terrible quality and my hiccup in the middle. A little thank you from me to you in video form. C X

I'd Like To Start A Conversation About Mentall Illness

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Instead of thinking long and hard about how right or wrong, liberated or squeamish this makes me feel I've decided to document and decipher what's going on inside my head here for the world to stumble across in hope that if this doesn't help me in an attempt of cheap therapy it may help someone make sense of what they're feeling.

A friend and I spoke recently about the irony behind the world constantly preaching 'we need to start talking about mental illness!' but everyone seems to be too afraid to actually start the conversation.

Hello, my name's Charly Cox and I'd like to start a conversation.

Six months ago I was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder.
My first thought?
"I'm crazy, it's official.
So off my head and out of body that pills are going to stabilise me for the rest of my life.
No waking hour can be trusted, no breath safe without science to dilute my blood."
In hindsight, I wince my eyes at my melodramatic reaction.
But it felt like it and sometimes it still does.
Time and time again I wondered what would happen if I just ignored it?
I quite liked the energy that occasionally pervaded me, the adrenaline that spun my head anti clockwise and threw me creative and indestructible.
Like a legal high I'd pulled straight from my own biochemistry.
I'd functioned some really cool things off of it, it allowed me to push extremities with my work.
The bad times were horrific, but everyone's had bad times.
I reasoned with myself for days but truth came when old diaries had reminded me of how awful the depressive episodes were, I may have produced a magazine on a high but I sure as hell brought it down on a low.
It was so easy to forget that drowning flailing feeling, head barely above water screaming for some sort of release, paralysed beyond any kind of physical function.
This was abuse, if anyone else had made me feel this way there would have been consequences, but because I had performed it all upon myself unknowingly, it was shunned.

Initially not even the NHS were interested, it took a £400 private consultation to receive a result.
''It's all in your head, really.''
Where else was it?
I felt myself relay every cliché in the book vehemently at GP's and psychiatrists that wouldn't listen.
Each the same they'd force a somewhat sympathetic smile at this 'precocious hormonal' teenager they'd convinced themselves was just 'a little stressed' and one closed door was met with several more.

I'd walk in with a double side of A4 paper scribbled with symptoms and terrified thoughts begging for answers hysterical, determined to fight the demons that battled with my sense, none of which were recognised, all read half heartedly and pushed to the side.
I felt stupid, I feel stupid.
Just because I was dressed at 8am in the morning, not dribbling, able to articulate what I thought was wrong- each doctor hazed their eyes over me as though I was attention seeking, querying the legitimacy of the feelings I'd proclaim in panic, blind to the late nights I'd sat on train bridges and how often I felt claustrophobic in my own skin, ignorant to the adrenaline that weaved its way in for months at a time and left me sleepless and irritable, yet somewhat unstoppable.
Even when I'd been diagnosed others suggested I'd put words into someone else's mouth.
I was devastated by my diagnosis, I wanted to be normal, I wouldn't have wished it upon anyone- how on earth could they make that sort of gesture?
It pushed and wrecked me constantly, unsure of my own better judgement.
What if I had made it all up?
What if I'd convinced myself I was ill as an excuse?
I hated school and never felt good enough for those around me after I'd left, was this a concrete solution, a hand written note saying:
"Sorry, Charlotte can't attend today because she's not all there. Sorry, Charlotte didn't get an A* in that or isn't a size 8 in that or can't run a mile in under that, because she's not all there."

I didn't know anymore and neither did those around me.
I'd previously become hassle to be friends with, unpredictable and dangerous.
I'd self medicate recklessly, drinking in excess to get to sleep and doing the same before school.
Anxiety so forceful I couldn't make it to college or even turn on my laptop, let alone keep arrangements to see people.
The outside world suddenly posed as a terror stricken universe where people had their shit together and laughed at people like me, they all mocked me, I was sure of it.
It didn't want it to reach that again, I didn't want to lay as a burden and a worry to the few people I'd manage to keep and gain in the time in-between.
I wanted to be a normal regular friend, I wanted to know I could go out for dinner with people and have fun not sit and cry all the time!

But it still fluttered inside of me, this caged moth posing as a butterfly, it was ugly and dark and full of rage, a crazed depression tricking me with moments of beauty and lighthearted spirit, it pushed its wings with polite progression and then rudely once or twice a week it would rear it's brash and belligerent head and remind me of who it really was.
An illness.
It wasn't a romantic metaphor or a piece of poetry in the pipeline, it was a medical condition I was seeking help for.
It was a paradox of complex delicacy that stripped me of my integrity and intelligence.
A psychological flaw that by no means was a reflection of my personality, but my genetical incompetence to keep steady.

Due to the abhorrent relationship between the media and mental illnesses, I had never been educated correctly with what I was dealing with.
Those with Bipolar were dramatised as permanently manic individuals who couldn't feed themselves, or not portrayed at all.
Not once had it been drawn to my attention that so many incredibly articulate, smart and creative human beings who we praise and accolade weekly also suffered with this same disorder.
That despite the ever forceful thrust backwards, this pelting affliction, they still lived their lives by ordinary and extraordinary means.

Amidst my violent fights with anxiety, paranoia, depression and mild mania, I fortunately found people who were willing to throw a punch at all four any time of the day or night I needed.
They guided me to the right people, they held my hand and answered every phone call.
They made me realise I wasn't weird. They made me eat dinner when I'd refuse to eat anything at all.
Without these emotionally intelligent, patient and loving individuals, I would still be suffering in silence. Probably unmedicated, unlikely still alive.
This is where I ask of you to become one of those people.
1 in 5 people suffer with mental illness, if you're not effected, someone you know is.
Hold a hand, make a phone call, invite them for dinner. Anything.
Knowing those that mattered the most didn't think any less of me catapulted me smooth and square onto a healthy road of self and medical help.
This is just the beginning of my journey, but I am armed with friends to help me battle on.
Start a conversation.

An Update: Filming with BBC 3 & Dating Disasters

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

I really hate dating.
I hate sitting across the table from someone who you can't work out if you fancy, awkwardly twiddling a fork of something you wouldn't usually eat (picking something vicarious and interesting in an attempt to make yourself look cultured) and then leaving unbothered by whether or not they'll text later that evening.
Just recently I've endured five of these.
Five! A record number. Yet I feel strangely unsatisfied.
They were all equally as sweet, cute and quaint affairs that passed the time, no better than an hour or so aimlessly browsing the internet, but nice none the less.
If my dating experience were an ice cream, it'd be vanilla.
If my dating experience were a sofa, it'd be a beige flatpack ikea job.
If my dating experience was seemingly nothing to write home about, then why am I scribbling away on the back of a postcard?
Because I think it may have just changed.
Praise the lord, heavens and fluffy hearts above, I went out on a date that didn't make me want to stab my eyeballs out with the blunt end of a knife repeatedly until it all ended abruptly with a trip to A&E, a short news article on the Daily Mail and a bemused suitor left scarred for life.

Unconventional by all means, throughout the entire event there was a woman holding a giant light source in front of me and a man with an inconveniently sized camera hanging off my every word with his wide lens.
Wash your dirty thoughts, myself and my date were fully clothed, stood on Millennium bridge for the world to see.
I had been asked out on a date by the ever-talented actor Tyger Drew Honey as part of a new documentary being filmed for BBC 3.
He was everything a good date should be, boys take note.
Charming, polite and not afraid of stimulating conversation that shies away from the weather.
I am very much a behind-the-camera girl, always busied away in pre and post production, the actual 'production' side to life never usually graces me with its exciting and exuberant presence, a lot like a decent date night, so this was big news.

I'm super excited to be able to share this with you, particularly as the prominent topic of conversation that we were discussing was something I'm particularly passionate about lecturing the world with and I hope that for someone it might make a difference to how they think about compromising situations in their life.

Sorry for the lack of posts, getting myself back on track!

I'll let you know when it's out!

Peace and love x

February Favourites

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Something a little different to my usual angst ridden ramblings! 
A roundup of some of my favourite things this last month.

 Alexa Chung x Eyeko 
I know, I know, stop crushing on Alexa Chung.
(Probably not going to happen, ever.)
I absolutely adore her collaboration with Eyeko, having a penchant for the cat-eye liner flick I've desperately tried and tested countless liquid eyeliners, all of which manage to smudge half way up my eyebrow and melt down to my cheek bones by the end of the day.
Hurrah! This pen-nib liner glides wonderfully, even for shaky handed novices, and dries before you need to blink. Perfection.
I don't think there's a friend I've not sung its praises to yet. Even the boys.
The mascara brush could be a little bigger and bristlier for me, but on the whole, a lovely set.
 Sunglasses x Holly Carpenter 
I popped into Anthropologie on the Kings Road the other day having been blinded by unexpected sunshine, so thought it allowed to treat myself to some new glasses.
I'm the first to scratch, sit on and lose expensive sunglasses, so for those who can't be trusted like myself- these ones by Holly Carpenter at £22 are a pretty decent Miu-Miu replacement.
 Clinique Cheek Pop in Ginger Pop 
The lovely Liv Purvis of whatoliviadid met me for lunch the other day and did a little gift exchange!
I've been set on my NARS blusher for centuries, so when she slotted this into my make up bag, it was a welcome addition.
The colour is perfect for bronzed complexions and a really lovely dewy texture.
 La Roche Posay - Effaclar Duo 
Taking off my face is usually met with melodramatic screams and hours of disdain, by me.
My skin is combination/oily/acne prone/awful.
I don't often find over the counter skin products all that effective, but a make up artist friend suggested trying this after I took my make up off and before I put it on to calm angry red skin.
(I've bought it 4 times since.)
 Disaronno x Moschino 
Sadly, there are few things in life I enjoy more than when 5pm hits and I'm allowed a drink.
I've lusted over Moschino for years, ever since my mum let me borrow her vintage letter belt.
She arrived home from the supermarket the other day with this bottle and it was an alcoholic stylists dream come true.
 Bumble & Bumble - Straight Balm 
When I was working at Burberry, the only hair product the stylists would use was Bumble & Bumble.
Now all I have to do is open the lid and its smell carries me back into one of my favourite jobs.
It also tames my curly, frizzy, white girl afro like nothing else.
 Chanel Rouge Allure in Pirate 
There is no hangover too strong, no break up too bad, no diet failed that this lipstick wont fix.
It makes you look like you've got your shit together.
 Liberty Thank You Notes 
Liberty's is the sole perpetrator of my dwindling bank balance.
I can't remember the last week I went without hauling myself around laden with stationary and health bits.
I love sending letters and sometimes a Thank You needs to be a little bit special.
The gilt gold lettering on sunshine yellow makes me search for people to be thankful for.

Poem: In Twenty Years Time

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Would you like me more
If I weighed a stone less?
If I had smaller front teeth
And I didn't always stress?
Would you like me more
If I knew how to say no?
If I liked watching movies
Or could use Final Cut Pro?
Would it make you happy
If I stopped saying 'FUCK!'?
If I didn't like drinking
Or chocolate buttons so much?
Does it bother you
When I text you late at night?
That my paranoia dances
Around the truth when you're right?
Is my laugh the final straw?
Or my awful sense of humour?
Will you tell happy stories
About me to your kids in the future?
Will we write a screenplay
Like we once said?
Will we visit Edinburgh again
Or spend summers apart instead?
Will we still be friends
In twenty years time?
I know I'm not your favourite person
But you're always one of mine.

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