‘Ratter’ (2015)

As I am writing this I am creeped out, impressed and majorly pissed off.ratter-2015

Ratter is listed on Netflix as a crime drama, but really it’s a total psycho-thriller. It’s a found footage film based on a girl living in NYC called Emma who is being watched by someone anonymous through her electric devices. I found it to be quite the emotional rollercoaster!

At first I found myself feeling a little impatient as I waited for her to figure out that she was being watched. Then once she started to catch on that something was amiss, that was when I really started to feel emotionally invested with this character. This might partially be because not too long ago I watched a series about stalking victims, and it really opened my eyes to the effects that it has on a victim’s mental and physical wellbeing. At this point, Ashley Benson did a pretty good job of accurately conveying the deterioration of a stalking victim’s sense of security.

I was loving it, although I did have to pause and give my sister a quick call when the music box started playing at night. It was creepy, ok?! There’s something about found footage that makes moments like that so much more terrifying. Too real, perhaps.

Anyway as things really started to kick off my eyes were wide, my heart was pounding, and the only thought running through my head was ‘if the film ends here, I’m gonna be PISSED’.

Well, I’M PISSED! Of course it ended there. There is a short clip after the credits but it doesn’t answer any questions so I’m still not ready to make up with it. I’m grudging hard right now.

There are a few questions running around in circles in my mind but after thinking about it, I reckon Director Branden Kramer can get away with fobbing off most of them. However there is just one that goes unanswered that will forever taint my opinion of this film.

WHAT THE F**K HAPPENED TO MICHAEL?!??!?!?!

It’s not just that it’s left alone to be mysterious, it’s more like the writers completely forgot about that line in the story and therefore never bothered to tie it up.

I’m so disappointed. I was getting so ready to write a glowing review about how this film ticked every box, but now…**sigh** It has left me with a bitter taste in my mouth, that’s for sure.

If any of you have seen it, or go on to watch it, please let me know in the comments what you make of it. I’d be very interested to hear what you think!

 

Twitter: Jay_Kelly92

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Mental Illness at Work – ‘Time to Talk’ Day

As I’m writing this I’m sat at home on a Monday, having felt unable to face an office full of people this morning, and I’m painfully aware of the fact that I haven’t uploaded any blogs or videos for the last two weeks. In fact, I’ve had this title ready for weeks, all I needed to do was sit my butt down and write it, I just haven’t. It feels like I’ve only really been at 20% the last couple of weeks and this is more of a 40% task.

But putting aside how crappy that makes me feel about myself (perhaps a topic for the next post) I know that not posting on a Sunday every now and then won’t really result in anything bad happening. The trouble comes in when I’m at 20% and I’m expected to go to work and give 100%. Impossible. One of the reasons that this can still be such an issue in the workplace is because a lot of people still view mental illness as something that isn’t totally crippling. Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard someone say that what’s-her-face just needs to get over it, or that what’s-his-name needs to suck it up and be a man.

I’m lucky – I’ve worked at my company for over a year, and I’m now in a position that I can honestly say is the best possible situation for everyone involved, but it took a long time to get here.

For a while I simply suffered in silence. I was adamant that all of my personal struggles were not going to interfere with my work, which was silly. Of course they interfered with my work, no matter how hard I tried. My performance wasn’t particularly suffering, but my presence in the workplace was – I was like a ghost in the office. I was once pulled into a room and asked why I always looked so miserable. I was told that I was bringing the entire team down and, given that feeling guilt is a big part of depression, I did not take it well. I went to the toilets and cried down the phone to Sara; I didn’t know what to do, I was panicking.

A short while after that, she managed to talk me into coming forward with my illness so that my company could work with me on it rather than against me. Mental illness does fall under the Equality Act so this was something I could take to HR to be dealt with officially. I MASSIVELY regret it. I know that my HR partner had the best of intentions, and I have to say she was lovely throughout the entire process, but the months that followed almost took me back to a place that I swore I’d never get to again. It started with an appointment with an occupational health specialist, which was fine. The two girls on my team were also made aware of the situation, which was fine. However, one of those girls (who has since had to leave, how sad) who had been known to cause problems, well…she caused a problem.

I was already being pulled in for meetings with HR at a minute’s notice which was stressful in itself, but I reached my absolute tipping point when I was pulled into one of these meetings and told that Trouble-Maker had informed HR that I had been making suicidal comments to her in the office. This was not true, but it caused a shit-storm. Of course my word couldn’t be trusted, because I’m mentally ill! (SARCASM!) I lost any control I had on the situation right then, so I told them that I was out. I told them that I didn’t care about the workplace adjustments anymore, and my work life was actually easier before any of this anyway! Some more upsetting stuff happened after that but cut a long story short, I now have an awesome manager who actually understands mental illness and how it affects people, and my work life has never been easier.

A great example of this came recently. It was ‘Time to Talk’ Day at work, which is supposed to aid in removing the stigma of mental illness, get people talking about it and distribute useful and educational information. While I appreciate the company’s effort here to make the workplace more inclusive, I really couldn’t stand the idea of going into the office and having to discuss this topic with my close colleagues. When I told my manager this, he told me to work from home and pointed out the irony that those with real mental health issues actually tend to avoid these kinds of things in the office. Perhaps we have to do enough ‘talking about it’ as it is?

If you’ve ever dealt with mental health in the workplace, leave a comment below – I’d love to hear your experiences!

 

Twitter: Jay_Kelly92

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Click here for Prozac Diaries!

Wasting Money on Fitness

I don’t have any regrets about the money I’ve spent on gym memberships in the past. The ability to go to the gym whenever I want to makes me happy. I also don’t feel any regret over the money I spent on PT sessions last year because they made me feel more comfortable in the gym, and I learnt a lot about fitness and exercise that still benefits me today.

However, I also have a bad habit of joining ‘fit communities’ and getting caught up in the motivation and inspiration to be fitter, and as a result spending a bunch of money that, with hindsight goggles, I can clearly see was a huge waste. For example, I follow Chloe Madeley on social media. She’s a very blunt, strong, motivational person and she leads by example. I therefore find myself coming across her posts a lot, the communities involved with them, and her promotions. I spent £20 on her diet and exercise plan – if they can do it, so can I! Plus I’d love to look like Chloe, and for just £20 she’ll tell me exactly how to do it! Once I started the plan I realised that it wasn’t really for me, I wasn’t enjoying it at all, and now it’s metaphorically gathering dust on my desktop.

Another thing I have a really bad habit of wasting money on for fitness is workout clothes. It has been drummed into me that if I look the part, I’ll feel the part. However once I actually workout in them I find that they look nothing on me like they do on the women in the pictures, and I’m developing horrendous sweat patches in places that they probably don’t even have sweat glands. ‘Sure they’re tight and unforgiving, but that will just push me to work harder’ – one of the many lies I’ve told myself over the years.

This is something that I’ve thought about a lot, and I think I understand the problem. I don’t know about you, but for me money just isn’t a motivator, in any aspect of my life. When I hear people say “I hate working overtime but I’ll make extra money” I stare at them in awe. I have never in my life been able to drag myself into a job I dislike on a day I shouldn’t be there, motivated by one simple thing – cash. I can’t do it, and it’s the same with exercise.

I’ll happily jump up to take part in exercise that I really enjoy, like boxing or dancing, but when I’m sitting at home being a lazy potato (and looking like one), knowing that I’m spending money on a gym membership, gym clothes, even home equipment, doesn’t cause me to stir one bit. I still feel guilty though…just not guilty enough to put down my burger and remote control.

The worst part is that even though I know this about myself, the next time something comes along that I can throw my money at, I will tell myself the same old lies all over again – EVEN THOUGH I KNOW THEY’RE LIES. The only reason I’ve even chosen this topic this week is because there’s another diet and exercise plan that I’m thinking about purchasing because all the women in its community swear that it has changed their lives and they’re all in it together, and gush about how motivated and inspired they are. In it together? I wonder how many of them will be banging on my door telling me to step away from the pyjamas do some burpees.

**Deep breath**

…but maybe this time it will be different…

 

Twitter: Jay_Kelly92

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Click here for Prozac Diaries!

My Morbid Fascination

One of the many things about me that people find strange is my morbid fascination with tragedy. I love learning about things like Titanic, the Nazis in WWII, and serial killers. I will waste away hours reading online about places like Letchworth Village, and nuclear disasters. I’ve always been this way, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. This week I’ve been on a MAJOR Netflix documentary binge, so for those of you who are also fascinated by the absolutely morbid, here’s what I’ve found so far.

First I watched a film called Conspiracy. I chose it because I thought it was a documentary, but it turns out it’s a film in the style of a documentary. However I love anything conspiracy related so I still enjoyed it. It’s based on two film makers who are working with a conspiracy nut, until he mysteriously disappears. It was good; the two lead actors did a decent job of seeming authentic rather than scripted. Plus it’s based on the idea that the government gets involved with people who are really into conspiracies, which is an notion that I find veeeerrrrry interesting. I believe that’s probably true, and I hope to God that Shane Dawson doesn’t disappear one day as a result of his awesome conspiracy videos on YouTube.

Next I watched a docu-film called Silenced. This followed the stories of three separate whistle-blowers in the United States, and how they were treated by the government and the media. I really enjoyed this one. It’s sad watching these people’s lives be destroyed for exposing the wrongdoings of those in power. It’s a serious reminder that when it comes to politics, we have no idea what goes on behind closed doors.

After that I started a docu-film called Legion about the hacking group, Anonymous, but I got distracted halfway through and wasn’t inspired to go back and finish it. This would probably be a good one for tech geeks.

Next up was a docu-series called Autopsy, which talks about the high profile deaths of celebrities, and the days leading up to them. Episodes feature the commentary of a medical professional and are based on people like Michael Jackson, Robin Williams, and Amy Winehouse. Beware of some daunting images in the Michael Jackson episode, but this series is absolutely fantastic and I really enjoyed it. I’d recommend it if you can get past the awful, awful acting. Beware of the daunting fake nose in the Michael Jackson episode.

When I finished that I moved onto a docu-series called Real Detective, and this has the be my favourite of everything I’ve watched so far. Each episode focuses on one case that actually happened, and features interviews with the homicide detective who claims that the case still haunts them today. All of the cases are tragic, of course, but I have the say the second episode stood out and the final episode of Season 1 really knocked it out of the park. The final episode made me cry a little. I was completely engrossed throughout the entire season, and I wish there was more. Hearing it from the perspective of those who were most involved in the investigations is incredible, and it really opens your eyes to the evil in this world.

Finally (for now) I’m currently watching a docu-series called Captive. Each episode is based on a different hostage situation including interviews with officials and families of those involved, and the acting is MUCH better in this series. I’ve not finished it just yet, but of all the episodes I’ve watched so far I think the first one, based on the Lucasville Prison riot in 1993, is my favourite.

To answer your questions – no I am not interested in being involved in any of this, just learning about it, and yes it is one of my wishes in life to be able to personally interview a true psychopath/serial killer.

Happy watching everybody, let me know what you think!

Twitter: Jay_Kelly92

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Click here for Prozac Diaries!

The Mental Health Specialist (Part 3)

As soon as I entered the building I felt the atmosphere change – like it does when you go to take a seat in a dentist’s waiting room. It’s always eerily quiet and…clinical. Smells funny too.

I saw a woman appear behind the desk with the voicemail-less telephone and I approached, telling her that I had an appointment. “Yeah, you called to say you were late. I told her. Take a seat.” I went to sit down in the empty waiting area and I was so on edge that I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat. Every now and then a person would appear through an ID pass door and disappear through another one. After 10 minutes or so I had to wonder what was taking so long; I was already 10 minutes late!

Eventually a woman came through a door next to the desk with the voicemail-less telephone and asked me to follow her. She led me into a small 2 person room just off the reception area. It wasn’t exactly private – we had to stop several times because of noise in reception, and the cleaner kept interrupting us. I have to say, it’s a little difficult trying to be honest about your worst deep down feelings about life when you keep being drowned out by the sound of an industrial vacuum cleaner.

The first thing she wanted to know was whether they had the correct details for me. “Is this your address?” I looked at the piece of paper she had and my immediate thought was ‘ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!’ (See Part 1)

Instead, trying my best to come across as a sane person, I said no and gave her the correct address. I was in there for around 3 hours, so I’ll just give you the things that stuck with me when I walked out of there, and still do now, months later. At first she was simply asking me questions about my family, my parents, my job. I gave her the bits and pieces that she asked for, only realising in hindsight that this would mean leaving big relevant chunks of my history unaddressed.

After a while it started to feel like parts of what I said were being ignored, and words were being put in my mouth. It was as if she was shaping my answers to fit the assessment she was building. I was planning to be more specific here but now that I’m writing, I think it might be best to bypass the quotes, but I will include one from the session that should give you an idea of what the situation was like.

She said to me “I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, oh my God, can this woman read my mind? Well no, don’t worry. I’m not actually reading your mind.”

NO.

NO, NO, NO, NO, NOOOOPE.

How disappointing. I am very tempted to be more specific but I know I shouldn’t, because this one bad experience doesn’t necessarily mean this person is bad at her job. I think maybe she just really genuinely wanted to understand me and connect with me. Unfortunately that led to her pretty much answering the questions for me, incorrectly.

I took it hard. I walked out of there knowing that they weren’t going to help me at all. I’d been counting on this, looking forward to it as the light at the end of the tunnel.

A few weeks later I received a copy of the report she sent over to my GP, and I was called in by my doctor to talk about the results of the assessment.

This woman stated in her report that she believed I was suffering with an eating disorder.

WHAT THE F**K?!?!??!

Even my GP called out that bullshit, thank God.

 

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The Mental Health Specialist (Part 2)

The day finally comes and I’m ready to go. I’ve got my bus details, maps, landmarks, basically anything I’ll need to get to this place without getting lost. I go to my bus stop 15 minutes early to be safe, and I get on the bus. I’ve given myself plenty of time to get there plus an extra 45 minutes or so, just in case.

So I climb aboard the bus, tell the driver where I’m going, and take a seat not far from him. I’m way too concerned about missing my stop to even think about reading or listening to music. Even though I know it’s a 35 minute drive, I spend the entire time staring out of the windows looking out for the landmarks I’d noted down that will alert me when I’m getting close to my destination.

**45 minutes later…**

Inwardly I’m freaking out. I haven’t spotted any of my landmarks, the bus driver hasn’t said anything, I’ve been on the bus for a while and I don’t even recognise the town names on the road signs anymore, but I’m one of those people whose brain seems to slip smoothly into denial when things go badly. Something deep down in me believes that if you just deny the mishap, it hasn’t happened and things will be ok! (I also take this approach to colds. I firmly believe that one can deny a cold away.) Because of this charming quality of mine, I sit there in my seat for a little longer. The landmarks will appear. Eventually…Right? Ugh crap.

So I approach the bus driver and ask him if we’ve passed my stop and he replied “Oh, I forgot about you.” He pulls up at the next stop and tells me to cross the road and catch a bus going back. I ask him how long it will take to get back to my stop and he tells me 15-20 minutes (UGH, CRAP!)

I cross the road, and there is a bus due in a couple of minutes. At this point I have exactly 20 minutes until my appointment, so I might be ok. The minutes tick by and the bus doesn’t appear so, trying to keep myself together, I pull out my phone to call the place and tell them that I’m running late. Well, I would tell them that if somebody would answer the phone. Oh, no voicemail machine? AWESOME. Call back. No Answer. Call back. No answer. Call back. No answer. Still no bus. Call back. No answer.

This continues for another 15 minutes, and I started to cry around 10 minutes ago. I’m depending on this and if they think I’m not coming then they might cancel my appointment and it took me so long to finally get this one and who knows how long it would take to get another one if they think I didn’t show up to this one andbefore I know it, I’m more than halfway to complete meltdown. Then just as I look up to see if there’s anything around that I can punch, I see the bus approaching in the distance. I call the reception desk one more time and finally somebody answers. I can breathe again! Kind of. I tell the lady that I’m lost and she asks me where I am to which I somehow manage to reply un-sarcastically, “Erm…I’m not sure.” I tell her that I won’t be more than 10 minutes late and then climb aboard the bus, expressly requesting that the bus driver tell me when we get to my stop. I stand right next to his little booth the entire way, so as not to be forgotten again. It works, and around 15 minutes later I’m climbing off the bus and heading in the right direction.

Thankfully the centre is much closer to the stop than Google maps made it out to be. I don’t even have time to finish a whole cigarette! I do stop for a few seconds outside the centre to take a few extra drags though – it has been a stressful journey, and I’m hiding behind a bush so the reception lady I spoke to can’t see me dawdling, obviously.

Then into the building I go…

To Be Continued…

 

Twitter: Jay_Kelly92

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The Mental Health Specialist (Part 1)

I’ve known for weeks that I wanted to blog about this, but I couldn’t find the energy to put it into words. I had a lot of feelings, and they made the whole experience just exhausting. I’m still not sure how well this will translate into a written post, but I’m ready to give it a go.

I was referred by my GP (General Practitioner a.k.a. doctor) to the local NHS mental health specialist for assessment in May 2016. I even called them at the time to make sure they had the correct address for me. By late October I still hadn’t heard anything, so I went back to my GP and told her that I couldn’t wait much longer and she was appalled to discover that I still hadn’t received an appointment with the specialist. She re-referred me, and once again I called them only to find out that I had been offered an appointment months earlier, but the letter had been sent to the wrong address.

I was frustrated and upset.

I gave the correct address once more, and pleaded for the soonest appointment possible. A week later I returned to my GP (as per her instructions if I still hadn’t heard anything), and even she couldn’t seem to figure out why my referral was being thrown around so much from person to person. It felt like nobody wanted to deal with me, and I was being passed around like a hot potato. As I stood to leave, she told me to leave her a message if I still hadn’t received my letter within the next week, and she would chase it up for me. It was important that she seemed to genuinely give a crap. I came so close to giving up so many times, but having a doctor like that can really help. She sincerely believed that the system could help me.

Of course 7 days came and went, and still there was nothing, so I left her a message. She must have done something right because a few days later I received a letter with an appointment for the following Monday. I was to journey to the next town over, with a list of my current medication in my pocket, to be assessed by a mental health specialist. It was a relief, yet completely terrifying. I had all of my hopes pinned on it. I was convinced that it was the only thing that would help me. Whenever I felt low I told myself to just hang on until the specialist could fix me, then everything would be ok.

Spoiler – I was wrong.

To Be Continued…

 

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The Fluffs <3

The last time I vlogged was around March I think, when I moved into my house. It’s December now, and every day I have more of an urge to pick up the camera again. I took a break, and it became much longer than I intended. I got so swept up in all of the change that has happened this year that I kept putting it off, and putting it off. Now I feel like I’ve let myself, and my channel, down. I’m disappointed in myself that I didn’t document the on-going medical process, and the travelling that I’ve done, and most of all I regret not documenting the days I got my pets and the months that followed.

Alvia (AL) is my hamster and she came to live with me at 10 days old, around early April. I adore animals, and I was craving companionship but seriously doubting my capability to look after another living thing. I figured a hamster was a good place to start, and it was. By the end of July I felt confident enough to bring another fur baby into my home. I was absolutely certain that when I told Sara and Mike that I wanted to get a dog, they’d tell me I was silly and irresponsible – how could I possibly look after a dog when I could barely take care of myself? On the contrary, they said they thought it would be great for me. They were so right.

pdb-2Dory is a Yorkie, and she came to live with me at 11 weeks old. I’d never had a dog before; I’d been raised with cats. I fell in love with her immediately, and brought her home without a second thought (after paying a LARGE sum of money). She was a mess; her fur was clumped and knotted, she was skin and bones, and once I got her home I learned that she was pooping blood and that she was terrified of everything. I also discovered that the previous owner had lied about worming and flea treatment, and having her microchipped. It quickly became obvious how badly neglected she had been in her previous home and suddenly the money didn’t matter to me anymore, I just wanted to get her better.

Fast forward to now, she’s 6 months old and she’s like a different dog. She’s clean and happy, and delightful to spend time with. Everybody loves her – especially the staff at the vet and the groomer! The biggest reason I regret not documenting all of this is that I missed the chance to catch on film just how much she has changed me, and my life. She has helped to turn everything around; Sara and Mike were right.

I love my little fur family, and I can definitely see it growing in the future. It’s been a learning process but we’re growing together. I WILL start vlogging regularly again before NYE, that’s a promise from me, to me. It really helps me and having spent so long away from it, I know that now, and the fluffs will be right alongside me when I’m ready to get started again.

 

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Prozac Diaries

me2I’m not really sure where to start.

My name is Jay, I’m 24 years old, and in 2015 I hit rock bottom. It had been a long time coming, and certain life events pushed me over the edge to a point I’d never reached before. I no longer saw what I could do for this world, or what this world could do for me. I’d been pushed into believing that I had no worth, that I was a bad person, and I made the people around me miserable. I just wanted it to end.

I’m lucky though; I had a guardian angel. My big sister, Sara. She pretty much forced me to move in with her and start getting my shit together, supporting me the entire way. The first step was medication. The day I started taking Prozac was the day I starting filming Prozac Diaries – my vlog. I found it much easier than keeping a diary, and it made me feel a little less lonely. They didn’t end up anywhere but my hard drive, but it helped.

Now I’m ringing in 2017, and a lot has happened since that first day. Some things have changed, and some things have stayed the same. My recovery will be an on-going process, and now I want to share it with all of you. 

Who knows? Maybe I can help someone who’s about to start their journey.

Twitter: Jay_Kelly92

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Click here for Prozac Diaries!